While the war in Ukraine may not often be headline news where you are, let me tell you that it indeed still rages on. Soldiers die fighting, are injured or are declared missing in action, civilians are injured and killed, families are separated, homes are destroyed, electricity and heat and water are cut off for hours or days or weeks, students attempt to learn by flashlight in basements during air alerts, and the list goes on and on. While, by God's grace, we do continue to live in safety here in the western part of Ukraine, we are not untouched by the effects of war and our prayers are continually for Ukraine's victory in the war to come soon.
|Collection of Russian missiles and rocket that have been launched at one of Ukraine's major cities|
|Children and adults suffer from the consequences of Russian shelling|
|School continues by flashlight in basements when necessary|
|Destruction, massive destruction|
Below is a picture of one of the power stations struck by a Russian missile on Saturday. One look at the devastation reveals why Ukrainians are living with power outages. Russia has been very intentional with targeting these stations. Our soldiers have successfully destroyed many of the Russian missiles that were launched, but some do get through and the destruction can have wide-reaching and long-lasting consequences.
Yesterday's missile strikes across Ukraine resulted in a major hit on a multi-story apartment building in the city of Dnipro. One entire section of apartments was destroyed with 30 people killed and another 75 injured (as of this moment). More than 30 people are still missing. Search and rescue efforts continue. Please take a moment to look closely at each of these pictures (below) and consider what Russia has brought with its invasion of Ukraine...nothing but death and destruction...
|Aerial view of the damaged apartment building|
|The residents of this apartment may have even had lunch in this kitchen just hours before the strike|
|Looking closely at the center of this picture, you will see a red blanket covering a girl sitting in a destroyed apartment waiting for rescuers to reach her.|
|Stranded residents used flashlights to alert rescuers of their location|
|Cranes were used to rescue residents|
|Rescue and recovery is still taking place amidst the rubble|
|An outing with my patient to a nearby bakery during our recent treatment session|
And last week we hosted our team of therapists for our annual Christmas party. Even Vadim was in Ukraine at the time and able to come (he and his family are currently living and working in Poland). Katya also got to come as she has returned to Ukraine from the Netherlands and will begin working again at Agape in a couple of weeks! So thankful for time spent with these dear friends who are now family!
|We tried to reenact last year's picture but we are still missing three people|
Please also join us in praying for Zhanna, our head chef at Agape. Her son was serving in the army on the front lines and has been declared missing. Several members of his team say he was killed but no body has been recovered so that is not official. Please pray for Zhanna is this obviously difficult time of waiting, that God would be her refuge and strength!