Faces of The Fellowship: Frieda
The Fellowship | March 15, 2017
Frieda, an elderly Jewish woman The Fellowship‘s Yael Eckstein met on her recent trip to Ukraine, is still scarred by what she experienced during the Holocaust. Frieda is 94 years old, and her memory is jumbled because of her health and age. Yet, as she told her scattered stories of the Nazis, they all ended with her memory of “the blood, the blood.”
Frieda’s needs were more emotional than physical. She desperately needed to know that someone cares about her. Yael’s visit offered the chance to give and receive hugs, and to share kindness, laughter, and the love of God.
When Yael first arrived at Frieda’s house, though, she was shocked to find Frieda had never met an American before. The old woman, indoctrinated from the decades after the war in which the Soviets ruled Ukraine and brainwashed its citizens, thought America was an island. Soviet propaganda had taught her that the only Americans who would come to her door would be officials or invaders.
When Yael and members of The Fellowship‘s U.S. staff arrived bringing only goodness and mercy, Frieda laughed at the misunderstanding and said, “Americans look just like us!”
Even though this elderly woman’s mind is foggy from age, her heart was full of hope and the joy of knowing God, which sustain her through the lonely winter as much as the aid she receives from The Fellowship.