Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2022 Blog #12
March 28, 2022
Ukraine: One Refugee’s Story
Several years ago the organist at the Clinton Avenue Reformed Church was a Ukrainian national. She was a rather talented organist who did well for our congregation. She ultimately left this position and returned to Ukraine where she cared for her ill mother. Recently, because of the Putin’s invasion, she returned from Ukraine to the United States and told us of the ordeal that she went through to leave her nation and come here to safety. In this bog I wish to share a bit of her story.
Iryna was first aware that Putin’s war had started when she heard two explosions in her hometown. She is unsure if they were rockets or aerial bombs, but they signaled for her that the war had begun. She was grateful that her mother had not lived long enough to see her nation invaded. Her brother and her son both of whom live in Ukraine, encouraged her to leave for her own safety while they stayed to protect their nation.
She drove toward the boarder of Poland but there was a huge traffic jam. Ultimately she joined a line of walkers to the boarder. It was a six mile walk to get to the boarder of Poland and Ukraine. Next came the wait for refugee processing which also took an extensive amount of time.
Iryna reported that the Polish people were incredibly hospitable. They assisted the fleeing Ukrainians in food, transportation, cell phones and relocation. Iryna was fortunate. Because she lived in the United States, she still had friends and connections here. This enabled a swift and efficient relocation here. Millions of refugees did not have these advantages. They remain in Poland waiting relocation to other safe nations.
I celebrate that Iryna is now here and safe. As safe as she is, she worries about her brother and son who remain in Ukraine defending their nation. She also thinks about the refugees who wait in Poland until they can be relocated. She is safe but these worries haunt her.
The Reformed Church in America, through Church World Service, is funding refugee relief. I encourage everyone reading this to make donations to ease the suffering of these displaced people. The link to contribute is: https://www.rca.org/give/2022-european-crisis-response/
# Ukraine #Russia
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/