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Surat, Gujarat
6 hours ago

Ukraine aid: When the air raid warning teaches you the horror

Near Lviv, we are working with the Peter & Paul Parish to build shelters for more refugees. More than a hundred thousand refugees have already been accommodated in the area. That's why we were on the ground - meeting people, organizing structures, and getting involved.

Of course, we also made a detour to Lviv, where we met other contacts who are helping us get refugees out of the most embattled cities. Lviv (Lviv) charmed us with its historical charm.

People cavorted in the squares as in many other Eruvian cities, listening to street musicians and enjoying the sun. It seemed so peaceful. Five minutes later: air raid alert, the peaceful atmosphere was over, now it was time to seek shelter in the basements of the adjacent stores. This is everyday life in the cities of western Ukraine. I can't even imagine what people in the embattled areas of Kyiv, Kharkiv or Mariupol have to suffer. On the way back to the church, where nine more refugees were waiting for us, there were two more air raid alarms.


Army checkpoints on every road

Peter & Paul Church near Lviv

 At a dinner in the church, the refugees told of their fears. They had escaped the bombs, but what would await them in the West? They were exhausted, had lost everything. And here I had to remind myself again that these were people with lives like ours. Children had their toys, people were proud of what they had achieved, children went to school and now everything was lost and it meant setting out for a new country, new language and not knowing what was coming. These people had a good life. They don't want to go to Germany or Europe. They have to. They reported how grateful they were to have received our phone number and to be guided safely to their destinations. The unfortunately justified fear of human traffickers, scammers and child molesters is now too great.

Finally, we wished each other a good night. We will see if it will be good, replied Father Roman. He was to be right with his doubts. It did not turn out well. At 5 a.m. the air-raid alarm went off and we spent the next few hours with Ukrainian women and children in the church's air-raid shelter. 

Holding out in the basement during air raid alarm


Sleeping places in the air raid shelter

I must say with regret that we were relieved when we finally crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border with the people entrusted to us. Regret to be relieved to leave Ukraine, the country that only a few years ago I got to know as a jewel of Europe.

P.S. When I returned home about 20 hours later, I hugged and pressed my children like never before.

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