A critical result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is that many Ukrainian families—and orphans—have become hostages of war. The continual shelling has created widespread lack of food, water, gas, electricity, heat and medicine. In addition, the lack of financial resources and opportunities to earn money has made it impossible for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to travel to safe areas. Foster families with large numbers of children, families with children who have disabilities or serious illnesses, and children who are in orphanages are all vulnerable in this situation.
But God is at work in the midst of the chaos. Many of our colleagues and partners continue to serve where needed and one shared the following encouraging story.
On February 24, the children in a state-run orphanage—aged 4 months to 5 years—woke up to the sound of sirens, gunshots and explosions. The 14 women caregivers were in a panic; there was no plan to evacuate 58 young children, who also had various disabilities. But they did know there was a make-shift bomb shelter nearby. So these courageous women decided to hide the children there temporarily—conveying mattresses, the little ones, and food in the midst of perilous conditions.
A bit later they discovered a better shelter in one of the local Christian churches. Once again risking their own lives, the women transported the children to this safer place. Our partner added, “What happened next is a miracle! The phenomenon of the Ukrainian people is to unite around the least protected children during difficult trials.”
Church volunteers and city residents donated freezers and washing machines, and began to cook for the kids. Medicine, diapers and other necessities were purchased for the children with funds from concerned donors. The babies are safe, and all the kids are receiving the attention and care that they need. Our partner added, “We sincerely believe that when the war is over, many of these children will have a caring and loving family.”
This story is one of many such scenarios being played out all over Ukraine. But not all at-risk children trapped in Ukraine as a result of the war are as fortunate. As the devastation continues, especially in places like Mariupol, Kharkiv, Bucha and Kramatorsk, here are some specific things we can focus our prayers on for Ukraine’s most vulnerable. Please pray for God to provide
- food, clean water, heat, gas, and electricity.
- safety and protection.
- any necessary medicines, equipment and medical treatment.
- excellent ways for these young ones to deal with the many traumas of war — physical, emotional and spiritual.
- adequate clothing and means for personal hygiene.
- for orphanage caregivers and others taking orphans under their wing.
- protection for those attempting to help with evacuation efforts.
And ask that God would specifically encourage many current volunteers and caregivers to provide permanent, loving homes to these at-risk little ones.
Thank you for lifting up the needs of these vulnerable children and caregivers!