‘We Are Safe Now’

The Fellowship  |  April 5, 2022

Elderly Jewish man in suit standing next to IFCJ banner.

“We were bombed for 12 to 14 hours a day,” says Igor, 69. He tells us what happened in Mariupol, Ukraine, and how he found himself at a Fellowship-provided shelter on the border of Moldova and Ukraine for refugees escaping the war to safety.

“First the electricity was cut off, then the water,” he says about his home in Mariupol when the bombs started falling. Igor and his wife, Irina, hid in their basement — a makeshift bomb shelter — for hours, praying the war would stop. “It was frozen with no heating and only 6 degrees in the room. We were sitting with multiple layers of clothing.” They huddled together with their dog to keep warm.

But the bombs never stopped. Soon they ran out of water and food. Their home had not been damaged… yet. But as they looked at the buildings around them, they saw extreme damage. They figured it was only a matter of time before it was too late. They weren’t safe. “We were lucky to stay alive,” says Igor.

No Place to Spend a Night

Finally, they made a plan to escape. They decided to drive to their daughter’s home in Odesa, where she lived with their two grandchildren. They packed up a few belongings and by some miracle their car had a full tank of gas. But they witnessed apocalyptic images during the journey: “We saw people, most of them women with small children, walking by foot with a few belongings… no water, no food, no place to spend a night,” Igor explains.

It was a long trip. “It took us four days to get there — in normal life, it usually takes about eight hours!”

Igor and Irina arrived in Odesa, then continued to the border with Moldova, where Fellowship staff were waiting for them. Unfortunately, their son-in-law wasn’t able to leave Ukraine because he is liable for military service.

But Igor, Irina, their daughter and two grandchildren reached safety, and have made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with The Fellowship. “I never thought that me and my family would be in this situation that we need to run to stay alive,” adds Irina.

The Blessing of Your Support and Prayers

“We are safe now, and very thankful to The Fellowship for all the help and organization of the rescue evacuation!” says Igor.

And The Fellowship couldn’t have rescued this family without you! Our Fellowship friends around the world continue to keep thousands of God’s children across Ukraine safe — families, elderly Holocaust survivors, orphans — who have no one as bombs are falling. You provide them with food and shelter at the Moldova border and assisting with aliyah. And we thank you for your support and prayers. You are saving so many people like Igor and his family.

Protect God’s Children

With Passover approaching, Jews facing the crisis in Ukraine desperately need your gift today.

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