Helping a Ukrainian Family Get Back on Their Feet | IFCJ
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Helping a Ukrainian Family Get Back on Their Feet

Eva Geller, a Fellowship staff member, shares a story about a family she visited on a recent trip to Kiev, Ukraine:We met Alexei – a 22-year-old man originally from Lugansk – in a cafe. He didn’t want us to visit his house. He is very suspicious of everyone right now, including us, even though he knew we were trying to help. He was afraid and shaking when we met.I gave him a cup of coffee, and I immediately noticed that he looked like he was starving. We offered him food and he looked so grateful. He wanted to say so much; there were so many details. But he was scared – he was talking very silently, almost whispering, and he mumbled from time to time as he told his story.Alexei arrived in Kiev with his wife and their infant son only 10 days ago. In Lugansk, he was a computer programmer for an international company; his wife stayed at home with the baby. But last spring, shootings began to occur regularly in the streets and everything changed. Gangs would get together and attack the police headquarters.The ongoing violence and gunfire caused the roof of their house to shake, and their windows were smashed in, leaving everything in disarray. For almost a year, his wife stayed at home with their son, never leaving the house; she was afraid to go out. All the shops were closed or destroyed. There was chaos in the streets.Alexei had planned to start his own business. He had already rented a space, employed workers, and he was just waiting for the bank’s approval. Unfortunately, by early August, the banks were all closed. They are still closed and people can’t access their money and Alexei’s dream is gone.This family felt the psychological pressures of all the fighting and they decided to leave because there would be no future, no financial security, and no peace in Lugansk. They packed a suitcase and left quickly during the few days of ceasefire. Alexei didn't tell anyone he was leaving, because his neighbors were anti-Semitic and he worried they might turn on him.When they arrived in Kiev, he didn't know to where he could turn for help. Thankfully, The Fellowship is able to help this family, and we provide them with basic necessities such as food and financial assistance. They are currently in the process of making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) and I am so excited for them to get to the Holy Land.


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