Ukraine: Fiona on the Frontline Week 1
Blog by Fiona Sorbala
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you so much for your financial support and your prayers. I thought you might like an update on what we are doing here in Berlin with the money that you sent to our Ukrainian Refugee Fund. But first I want to thank you for your contribution, because it is you that have made this possible.
1. I sent £500 to a Messianic Pastor in Moldova who is helping the Ukrainian refugees who are crossing to Europe via Moldova into Romania. He receives requests for help from Messianic Communities and helps with accommodation and onward travel to Romania. He used this money to buy mattresses and blankets
2. We are sending £2,500 directly to Messianic Community in Lviv who are feeding and sheltering 162 Jewish and Messianic Jewish people. Their point person is another member of staff at Chosen People Ministries in the USA
Because of your generosity we able to help these people and as the days go on, we will be giving more of the money to help others who are working towards the same goal as I am. And that is being God’s arms of love to embrace the broken and His hands to lift the fallen and His Voice to speak His Words of comfort first to the Jew first.
I was struck today by the words of a leader of a Pro Israel group here. He said “we are compiling lists of names help not to kill as in previous generations
Here are some of my stories of the people I have been meeting.
The other day, I went to meet a group of Ukrainians we had placed in a church hall overnight. Among them, I found a lovely older Jewish gentleman M with kind and twinkly eyes. As we spoke, he told me how he had been visiting a church and hearing the Gospel back in Ukraine. He even told me the Gospel.
I called the Messianic Congregation, and he is now being hosted with another group of Jewish refugees in the home of a congregation member who will bring him to the services at the weekend. He is so close to receiving the Messiah into his heart. Before he left, he asked for a Bible twice.
I spoke with his sister, J, who is still stuck in Odessa. I am trying to find a way to get her and her grandchild out via contacts in Romania. That’s of course if the ceasefire holds and the humanitarian corridor is safe to use, meaning they won’t get fired on as they leave the city.
To bring her grandchild to safety, she must leave behind her husband. This is the heartbreak that faces many families but the desire to protect the children from the trauma of the war, the shelling and the destruction makes any sacrifice worth it.
The idea of who or what a Ukrainian refugee is or looks like might surprise you. Today I met a 20 year old young man who was born in Ukraine to Vietnamese parents and married to a Ukrainian girl. They arrived in a family group of 9 and after spending a night at a local church were about to be housed at the university but before they left I had the opportunity to talk to them about God and why faith makes such a difference.
Then I took an elderly lady and her son to visit a psychiatrist. They spoke of their city, now mostly bombed out of existence and of the bombs that fell on the houses nearby but theirs was still standing; of the panic when all the trains were full and they couldn’t get a seat and then of the 20 hour journey across Ukraine to Lviv and on to freedom across the border. And finally to Berlin. It was a miracle that they ended up in this church – the result of a Christian volunteer at the bus station – they slept around the clock and the church has arranged for them to move to a quiet town where they can recover and have some time with the doctor who is a member of their church. This lady said that having an invalid son meant that she was treated as a 2nd class as being less worthy. Tonight as they returned to the church they felt seen and valued and importantly love
Today I was able with the Lord’s help to connect the sister of M in Odessa with a Russian speaking pastor in Romania who will be able to help her to cross over into Romania and get her on the best route to Berlin with her grandson and the good news is her husband is coming too. So soon this family will be reunited in Berlin.
And the Lord also opened a door with a Church in Saxony, and we are sending a Messianic Jewish family of 6 who have fled the Ukraine to them. Although today I have had less contact with the actual refugees, I feel that in my own small way I have contributed to helping some find a place of safety among God’s people. So again, I thank you for your part in their journey
What is so joyful to my heart is that so many different people and organisations coming together to help respond to the crisis.
My Facebook page will have other updates.