Beauty, Horror, and Hope

Stand for Israel  |  April 20, 2022

Refugees on Ukraine border with Moldova
(Photo: Ilan Assayag)

As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues, so does the darkness in the millions of lives of Ukrainians. But thanks to friends around the world who care, there has been light. The Jerusalem Post’s Brian Schrauger reports on the help being given to refugees at the border of Ukraine and Moldova:

Beauty can mask horror.

The 6th of April is a gorgeous Wednesday morning in the village of Palanca, the easternmost point of Moldova. Driving there from Chisinau, Moldova’s capital city, traffic is light, the land is kissed with golden light, and farms are old but well-kept. The only drawback is an endless string of broken pavement caused by swollen winter ice, now melted. It seems we bounce our way for the two and a half hour drive…

At first, there is no activity. Then they appear. Coming into focus as they slowly cross the no man’s land from Ukraine to Moldova, older women, then mothers laden with suitcases and children, walk toward us, toward safety – away from their homes in southwestern Ukraine that, only a few miles away, are being bombed by Russia from battleships lurking offshore atop the Black Sea; probably beneath it, too.

A little girl materializes, perhaps four or five years old, dressed in a spring green running suit. She trots ahead of her mama, soberly carrying a stuffed toy lion with large eyes and a golden mane. Her mother, Katerina, not far behind and dressed in identical garb, carries her daughter’s things in a bright orange suitcase. They are fleeing from their “beautiful house” in Odessa.

As another mom keeps an eye on her serious child, Katerina stops to speak with us, a group of journalists brought to Moldova by IFCJ, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

What she has to say is unforgettable…