Faces of The Fellowship: Semin | IFCJ
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Faces of The Fellowship: Semin

Four-year-old Semin fled to the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy with his parents and grandmother this past winter. Their hometown of Lugansk had descended into violence, the scene of constant clashes between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian soldiers.In Lugansk, the family was middle-class, with a nice home and a family business. In Sumy, they now scrape by on the edge of poverty, constantly looking for work and dependent on The Fellowship’s assistance to survive.Although they are homesick, Semin and his family do not see themselves returning to Lugansk any time in the near future. The electricity on their block was cut off and their neighborhood hasn’t had water for over three months. Friends who remained behind have nothing to eat.As hard as the upheaval has been for Semin, it may be even more difficult for his grandmother, Valentina. She still mourns her husband, who died six years ago. Being forced to leave the home they shared has only deepened Valentina’s sense of loss.Since the family arrived in Sumy, The Fellowship has been there for them. “Thank you so much,” says Valentina, “Thank you to The Fellowship for your human kindness.”As the family are refugees, they all receive food and bank cards, allowing them to purchase food and basic necessities. The family hopes to find work soon and return to self-sufficiency, but are extremely grateful that The Fellowship is helping them get back on their feet. 


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