More emails from Alex:
"10 km before the border – ARMAGEDDON. I haven't seen anything like that. Crowd, flood of mothers with children, elderly people, dads taking their children to the border, wheelchairs with people with disabilities…. I am sorry but this is UNBELIEVABLE in these times. This is exile, this is what the war of the 21st century looks like ... with suitcases on wheels.
Yesterday, the situation was almost beyond me. It really looked like the end. The incredible courage of these walking Ukrainians does not always show tears, but often the reconciliation with the situation as it is. I have heard many stories. Most of those people live the same life as we do. Still, they are very brave. Children do not fully understand what is happening. Imagine that your husband walks you to the border that is hard to reach, leaves you with a one-year-old baby in a pram with another one in your belly and one more somewhere, maybe in a slightly safer part of the world. He stays alone. You don’t know if you will see each other at all or when. Older people say that leaving everything is the hardest thing for them.
At the station, as of yesterday, everyone in those queues are Lost. However there is no panic, they just sit down and wait. And it is noticeable in these three-generation families – the one who rules is Babushka - the toughest one.
They only ask - why? what for?
In cars, when we transport them, no one complains, no one is cold, no one is hot, no one is hungry, no one is thirsty. They sit quietly. And children seem to be somehow different – like they were from another generation."
Under the link there is translated by Google Translate full relation from their previous (four days ago) visit in Lviv
(original Polish version: http://fundacjajaswedrowniczek.pl/6736-2/).
And below there is a relation from Alex from the last two days in Zhitomir.
Today is Sunday. I did not have a good sleep at all. I woke up at 2.30 from a loud explosion. Since then I could not get back to sleep. The sound of sirens is terrible.
One of my favorite parables in the Gospel is the story of the Good Samaritan. I was introduced to this story by my teacher and friend Donald Miller. For me this story is the essence of a Christian faith.
EVELYN drives a Ukrainian family from the border to Lodz, Poland.
Who is my neighbor? Who is taking an extra mile and sacrificing a lot for the benefits of the other in need? Who is taking care of the wounds both spiritual and physical?
I can say with great assurance that these are Polish neighbors. I’m deeply touched by what they are doing for the Ukrainian refugees. My Polish genealogy colleagues open not only their homes but their hearts for my countrymen.
They sacrifice a lot and this is not an exaggeration. Ask other Ukrainians.
This morning before church I helped my friend to get on a train to Lviv. This is a very poor family and due to your support I was able to help them financially so they can have some pocket money in Poland.
Sasha says goodbye to his wife and son Gleb before they take a train to Lviv from Zhitomir.
Another family from the village near Korostyshev sent their kids to Lviv and then to Poland and hopefully they will be able to get to Colorado where they will meet their American family.
The family of Peter and Nadia hopes that the kids would be able to make it to Colorado. The parents will stay in Ukraine.
This morning I visited a church where I was an altar boy at St Sophia’s Cathedral. When the siren went off the priest offered to those who are afraid to leave for the church bomb shelter. But none left and continued to pray! That was powerful!
We need to be all Good Samaritans now!
Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan: “Go and do likewise!”
I had a very good sleep. I heard no sirens but I slept like a log.
Today was a day of logistics.
The family of Natasha and Gleb made to Medyka Poland at 5 am. They found a temporary shelter in school. Gleb slept for couple hours and now he and his mom continue their wander to Czech Republic where through Red Cross they will find a refugee.
The family of Peter and Nadia made it to Lviv only at 5 am. That was almost 13 hours drive instead of 6 houses in the previous life.
I ran into a problem to find a notary in Lviv who can give a Letter of Attorney to a Ukrainian lady who will accompany them though the border. Most of the notaries from Zhitomir, just simply do not pick up a phone, and it’s a challenge to find a Notary in Lviv. None of the kids have proper travelling documents.
If we fail to find a notary the kids would have to cross the border themselves on foot and then we will pick them up in Poland.
I was encouraged by a story of an 11 year old Ukrainian boy from Zaporozhje who travelled with only a backpack and a phone number scribbled on the back of his hand straight to the Slovak border.
He is my hero of the day!
Stay tuned, more tomorrow.
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