Soldiers occupied my native town of Slovyansk in 2014 and brought death, horror and lawlessness. Everyone who could tried to escape until all the roads were blocked. The whole region was left without heating, electricity and water supply. People had to stay indoors as it was too dangerous to go outside.
Many of my friends and relatives escaped. I decided to stay and help. We all risked our lives helping people to escape from the occupied area. Then we supported people who couldn’t escape and who were left on their own. For months, people had to live in basements because of the constant bombings. They had no water, food or medicine. Working with others from my church, our help was nothing but vital.
In 2015, I decided to become a chaplain. Many of the Ukrainian army soldiers were young, just 18-year-old boys with no experience or training. Suddenly they found themselves having to protect our nation. I saw many questions in their eyes, questions about life and death. They were looking for courage and strength to overcome their fears and not go mad under the daily bombings. I became a chaplain to bring God’s Word to them, to become a partner, friend and counsellor to as many of them as possible. I have seen many soldiers find faith in God in this war. The enemy is still irrepressible, and the conflict goes on, but we trust in the Lord and hope that the future will ultimately bring us peace.
Chaplain Genadii, helping us coordinate aid deliveries to Eastern Ukraine
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