My name is _____.
More than a year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine.
Cars filled with weapons.
Road after road.
Town after town.
No matter how much we fought, it felt as if there was no way to end this invasion.
Gradually, we were physically and mentally broken down.
Forced to cooperate with the occupying authorities.
Activists, and citizens, were brutally abused.
The constant intimidation and fear affected us all.
My family decided we had to flee our home and leave it all behind.
Passionate about remaining in Ukraine, we located a place we thought could be safe.
A ministry caring for those displaced inside Ukraine.
At first it was very difficult, to figure out how to start a new life.
How to live on without our home, our jobs, the life we had built.
But, as we walked into the ministry, we were met by many who listened.
They gave us help, support, and encouragement.
Like us, many of them had been displaced or had experienced suffering due to the war.
They had watched as thousands of displaced people struggled on the journey to survive in a country impacted by war.
I will always remember the strength they gave me in those days.
Their encouragement impacted me so incredibly that I too decided to become a volunteer.
I began at the humanitarian aid center before serving at the Workshop of Kindness.
The Workshop of Kindness is a program designed to help children of IDPs cope with the disturbance of war and violence. Through art therapy, children are able to break down the barriers of anger and fear, learning to heal and thrive in the country they were born in.
Formerly a primary school teacher, I could not help but be drawn to the little hearts in need.
I am happy to go to them.
I feel that they need me, but realize how much I need them as they wait for me with such warmth.
The impact that Lantern’s Crisis and Conflict team has made in Ukraine is beyond measure. To date, 66,915 lives have been directly impacted by one of the many programs offered. Designed to support internally displaced people, children, single mothers, and even those on the frontlines of war, programs offer the gospel, aid, and support to those who need it most.