No Longer Alone in Ukraine
The Fellowship | January 24, 2023
“When the Nazis came, they came for us. I was one of three children, but I pretended that I did not belong to my family and that is how I survived,” says 95-year-old Mariya, a cold and tired Jewish woman who still lives in the same village in Ukraine the Nazis invaded as World War II began.
“I was blonde and didn’t look Jewish, so they thought I was Ukrainian. They took me to Germany and I became a servant in one of the commanders’ homes,” Mariya recalls. “But my family was shot.”
After the war, Mariya returned to her village in Ukraine, alone. To the house her father “built with his own hands.” There she spent decades alone. The Soviet era in Ukraine proved no better than the Nazis. “We ate whatever we found. People died like flies and nobody even buried them.” Mariya survived that, too, alone.
And now, as war ravages Ukraine once again, Mariya is still alone.
Before war broke out, a neighbor would sometimes bring her bread and water from the well. But now, Mariya lays there, bedridden and “tired of this life, tired of being alone.”
But even now, even as the drums of war again pound across Ukraine, Fellowship volunteers are still providing basic needs—including heating fuel, firewood, and blankets during the brutal Eastern European winter—for those like Mariya. Those elderly Jewish people in Ukraine, many of them survivors of the Holocaust like Mariya, who are “the least of these.”
The help and love provided by Fellowship friends are literally saving lives, lives like Mariya’s.