Fleeing Violence, Finding Solace

21st April 2022

< Back to all articles

Displaced Ukrainians are experiencing the love of God through mobile medical clinics and a network of local partner churches.

Marina and her family were desperate to get to the Kramatorsk train station in southeastern Ukraine on the morning of April 8—eager for the journey westward to safety. However, just hours before they were scheduled to depart on the railway, the station came under missile attack.

Marina shares her story while sitting on her bed in Resurrection Church. She and several of her family members are currently living in the church as they have been displaced from their homes.

Marina shares her story while sitting on her bed in Resurrection Church. She and several of her family members are currently living in the church as they have been displaced from their homes.

The brutal onslaught left more than 50 people dead and over 100 injured, including women and children. Marina and her family could have been among the victims if a delay hadn’t kept them from arriving at the station on time. While grieving for those killed and injured, they are thankful for God’s protection on their own lives.

Marina and her loved ones ended up evacuating by bus and found shelter at Resurrection Church in Lviv. This congregation has been a Samaritan’s Purse partner church since 2014.

Samaritan’s Purse has more than 160 disaster relief specialists responding to the needs of families including Marina’s, as we continue to work in in Ukraine, Moldova, and Poland. We are providing emergency food, medical services, and other relief while sharing the life-giving truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Meeting these critical needs has been made possible, in large part, through a faithful network of local churches who are helping warehouse relief supplies in their buildings, distributing food and other items to people in need, and providing shelter to families who’ve fled their homes for safety.

Welcoming the Displaced

Resurrection Church opened their own building and are working with a local orphanage to house as many as 130 displaced people at a time. For the many who are arriving in Lviv without money or documentation, this has made all the difference. Recently, Samaritan’s Purse has partnered to open a mobile medical clinic at these locations, too.

Resurrection Church in Lviv, Ukraine has been a sanctuary for internally displaced people fleeing violence in the East. Samaritan’s Purse is supporting the efforts of the church by operating a mobile medical clinic there.

Resurrection Church in Lviv, Ukraine has been a sanctuary for internally displaced people fleeing violence in the East. Samaritan’s Purse is supporting the efforts of the church by operating a mobile medical clinic there.

A church leader named Liubov says that they are grateful to be used by God to help hurting during this unspeakably difficult time in the history of their country.

“We understand what great atrocities these people are going through. We would never imagine this would come to our country,” she said. “We are very happy that we have this space, and we are happy that we all can join our efforts and our forces and make this for the Glory of God.

“It is a wonderful time to share the Gospel. We see people’s hearts opened—we can always say ‘God loves you and we pray for you’ and people are open for that.”

Grieving For Home

As Marina and her family sheltered at the church, she recounted the terror of having to flee their home. She sat on the edge of her mattress, one of many mattresses in one of the church’s long rooms where they were staying with several other families.

Both Natalia and her grandson Timofey shared their story of fleeing violence in Ukraine with Samraritan’s Purse staff at Resurrection Church in Lviv.

Both Natalia and her grandson Timofey shared their story of fleeing violence in Ukraine with Samraritan’s Purse staff at Resurrection Church in Lviv.

“I left my home and all of my stuff—all of my sisters,” she shared, amid moments when she was overcome with days of emotions and needed to bury her face in her hands to weep. “It’s terrible to live in one place your whole life and now in this age, live somewhere and be somewhere without anything.”

Also sheltering there were Kyiv residents Natalia, her daughter, and her grandson Timofey.

“We see wars on TV, and now it came to reality and it is very fearful. It impacted my health. I had headaches, my blood pressure was high, and it’s really scary,” Natalia shared, turning her face away to wipe tears.

Grandson Timofey, age 12, recounted the events of Feb. 24—violent events no child should ever witness—as they prepared to leave Kyiv.

“I woke up and mom told me the war started,” he said. “I went to the shop to buy some food. On the way back, I could hear explosions and it was really terrible and scary. Cars were beeping and I had this heavy bag with the food and things I had bought. I was in the middle of it all, not knowing how I will get home.”

Timofey also admitted grief and regret about the cat they left behind.

Partnering Through Mobile Medicine

Dr. Mark Hilliard consults with patients at the Samaritan’s Purse Mobile Medical Clinic in partnership with Resurrection Church in Lviv, Ukraine.

Dr. Mark Hilliard consults with patients at the Samaritan’s Purse Mobile Medical Clinic in partnership with Resurrection Church in Lviv, Ukraine.

“The people who have been displaced—we get to give them their medicine and the care that they need while the church is providing shelter and food for them,” said Mike Hilliard, a Samaritan’s Purse physician serving in this location. “It’s wonderful. That partnership is what God wants—all of us working together as one body in Christ.”

Tetyana, a native of eastern Ukraine, is one of more than 5,000 patients who have sought treatment from Samaritan’s Purse doctors and nurses since the beginning of the conflict. She fled her community as bombs began hitting closer to home.

“When we heard explosions coming closer, I felt such a fear. It was at night, and I really felt covered with fear. Early in the morning, I took whatever I could and took the first possible train. I did not want to leave for a long time,” she said. “I hope that our town would not be touched by all these actions.”

Our doctors and nurses treated Tetyana for a persistent case of bronchitis that had grown worse because of the exhausting travel from her home. The team also prayed for and encouraged her.

Providing medical care to hurting families has also helped alleviate many concerns that were adding to their turmoil. It’s opening up opportunities, as well, to address spiritual concerns and emotional burdens now that they can rest without fearing for their lives.

Please continue to pray for peace in the minds and hearts of suffering families within Ukraine during this difficult time. Additionally, pray for the multitude of Samaritan’s Purse church partners throughout Ukraine as they open their doors and minister to hurting families during this difficult time.


Responding to the Crisis in Ukraine

Make a one-off donation

Latest media

Relief for Ukrainians Trapped in Conflict

05.05.22

Bringing Relief to Fleeing Ukrainians

07.04.22

Help and Healing Along the Way

31.03.22