Olga and Maxim recently made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) on a Freedom Flight provided by The Fellowship along with their 7-year-old son, Matviy, and 2-year-old daughter, Mila.
After losing their home in Ukraine, they now want to find peace in Israel. Beginning in the summer of 2014, war began in eastern Ukraine. A clash between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian armed forces turned eastern Ukraine into a chaotic, deadly warzone, placing thousands of its residents in a desperate situation.
During this time, Olga was expecting a baby in a city that was falling apart. Lugansk was surrounded by fire, and violence threatened the residents’ safety.
“There were some battles around the city. Roads that lead to Lugansk and even railway tracks were closed. I was afraid to be caught in the middle of the fighting,” Olga remembers.
After Olga had her baby, they decided to leave the city. They hoped they would only need to relocate temporarily and the war would end soon.
They took clothes, money, and supplies to last for two weeks only. However, the family gradually realized that the war wasn’t going to end anytime soon. And they knew they needed to come up with a different plan.
“We had extremely serious plans about further living in Lugansk. We even bought a summer house for our children. While it’s hard to say farewell to our home, we understand that we have no time to wait among this fighting,” Maxim acknowledges.
The family finally decided they needed to move to a place where they would be protected, and decided that Israel was the place they wanted to make their home.
“We’d never thought we’d want to live in a different city. We loved our apartment so much, as well as all our relatives and friends who also lived there. Nevertheless, when we lost our illusions that war would end soon, we understood that we can’t earn enough money for a new apartment in Ukraine, even one in a safer area,” Olga recounts.
Olga’s sister has already lived in Israel for a year. So the family will join her and live in her city.
Olga was an accountant in Lugansk. She also mastered a profession of pastry cooking. She believes these skills will help her in Israel. Her husband was a broker in Lugansk.
The family only has positive things to say about The Fellowship’s aliyah assistance. “The Fellowship thinks about everything, such as transferring luggage and how to accommodate us as we transition to life in Israel,” says Olga.
They cannot wait to begin their new lives in the Holy Land. Even their son, Matviy cannot wait for a fresh start, all thanks to The Fellowship!