Ukrainians began to feel a chill in the air in mid-October.
For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s something we all experience. Around that time of year, the bite of the wind serves as a reminder that bitter, cold weather is on the horizon. We know it’s coming, so we prepare for it by bringing our winter coats and warm blankets out of storage and turning on the heat.
But the Russian military’s way of preparing for the drop in temperature this year was to make strategic attacks again Ukraine, destroying power grids throughout the country so Ukrainians have no power … and no heat.
Today marks the official first day of winter — a day Ukrainians like Elena have been dreading.
Watch this short video to hear from Elena about her life in Ukraine:
Elena is from Kyiv, and she never planned on moving away from home — despite the fact that her country is at war. She had a job that she loved taking care of children and a house full of memories she didn’t want to leave behind.
Even after Russia’s full-scale invasion, Elena wouldn’t go. She had hope that things would one day return to normal.
And after a few months, things did start to slow down. It looked like Ukraine would force Russia out.
She even encouraged her daughter to return to Ukraine from Poland with her three children. Elena thought it would be safe to resume the family business with her daughter at her side.
But things took a turn for the worst in November when Russia targeted Ukraine’s power grid.
Elena watched as missiles dropped down from the sky.
“[We] don’t have electricity, water, or heating. You can’t even go out to the shop to buy something because they don’t have products,” Elena said.
Charging stations were sporadically set up to let people charge their phones and warm up in the heat … but these stations are few and far between, making it difficult for Elena to keep in touch with her family and make sure everyone stayed safe.
Almost a year has passed since Russia’s full-scale invasion … and refugees like Elena are in desperate need of help and hope
Despite sticking it out until this point, Elena knew it was time to join her family in Poland.
And she wasn’t the only one with that idea.
With winter officially here — and no way to stay warm — even more Ukrainians like Elena are now fleeing the country.
“I am very grateful to God that he took me out from there,” Elena said. “It was impossible to stay there. You just sit and cry because you can’t do anything.”
But even though she made it out of Ukraine, others like her are still stuck without power and heat. And refugees in neighboring countries desperately need winter items like coats and warm blankets.
People like Elena are still in desperate need of help and hope … and they’re waiting for someone like you to send it.
For just $35, you can provide a week’s worth of emergency aid like food, clean water, and durable winter clothing to one refugee from Ukraine or another war-torn country.
Russia’s invasion began nearly a year ago, and now, Ukrainians are afraid they’ll be forgotten in the busy holiday season.
Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus to a refugee today?