In April we reported how 11-year-old Lilia from Kherson, Ukraine was sent to a two-week “summer camp” in the Crimea. When she didn’t return, her mother became alarmed and contacted one of AFFEO‘s partners, Save Ukraine, who successfully returned Lilia to her mother. They had been separated for almost four months.
Over 6,000 Ukrainian children are currently in 43 camps throughout Russia. They have been taken or sent there—often by force or coercion—from combat zones “for their own safety.”
These children are at risk of never returning home. Some are being placed with Russian foster and adoptive families and given Russian nationality. Others remain in the camps and other facilities where Russian officials have said they are integrated and receive “patriotic education.”
Once Ukrainian children are adopted in Russia, their names can be changed, which makes them impossible to find. Furthermore, if the kids receive Russian passports, they can’t leave the country. “We don’t know … how many have been adopted already,” Mykola [Nikolai] Kuleba, Save Ukraine‘s CEO, said. “We’re doing our best to get as many kids back home as possible.” As of August 3, Save Ukraine has successfully rescued 141 children through nine courageous rescue missions.
The rescue, return, and reunification with relativesfor one child requires:
1,624 miles of sometimes perilous travel, and
The past several months of Save Ukraine‘s efforts to help with evacuations, humanitarian aid, and housing for Ukrainian refugees has left workers nearly burned out and in great need of our continued prayers. Won’t you pray
1. for the health and well-being of rescue workers—that the Lord would supernaturally rejuvenate them to carry on with their invaluable work.
2. for the safety and protection of the Save Ukraine team members as they travel many miles under often-adverse conditions.
3. for the success of many more rescue missions to bring Ukrainian children home from Russia as soon as possible. Kuleba thinks that getting Ukrainian children out of Russia might soon be impossible. For example, bringing Lilia home was extremely difficult—the team was denied permission to leave Russia through Belarus at three checkpoints and finally had to leave through Latvia, adding extra miles (1,176) and several days to the rescue effort. “The roads out of Russia could be closed at any time,” said Kuleba.
4. for the funds needed to carry out these rescue missions.
Thank you for your vital role in continually praying for the rescue and rehabilitation of deported Ukrainian children. Your prayers are their link to hope, healing, and the chance for a brighter future.