Fleeing for their lives

Ukrainian refugees helped by OM volunteers in Moldova.

June 2, 2022

By: Stan Jeter, GNA Founder/CEO

After 100 days of war in Ukraine, the devastation is staggering and the suffering beyond belief.  14 million Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes with little more than the clothes on their backs.  I do have encouraging news to share below, but for perspective look at the numbers reported June 3rd in an ABC News summary.

The war is destroying Ukraine

  • 38,000 residential buildings damaged by Russian bombs and rockets
  • 1,900 educational facilities, from kindergartens to universities, damaged or destroyed
  • 500 hospitals and 500 factories damaged
  • 350 bridges destroyed
  • 20% of Ukraine now under Russian control
  • “At least tens of thousands” of civilian deaths according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
  • (and the list goes on…)
One bright spot against this dark background is that fleeing Ukrainians–mostly women and children–are often met by Christian volunteers who give practical, loving support.  For example, when refugees cross into the small country of MoldovaOperation Mobilization workers provide refreshments and assistance for the journey.  Note the picture above, and Watch the GNA story here
In another report, from neighboring Romania, heartbroken refugees tell their stories.
A young Ukrainian girl desperately wants to go home to see her pet and her brother (men of military age can’t leave the country).  A grieving mother says her son was killed when she walked out of the house. Click here or on the pictures to watch this extraordinary report by GNA affiliate Alfa Omega TV  filmed in a large church that’s now a shelter for refugees. 
Back in Ukraine, video witnesses are spreading news about the war.

“Witness with a camera”

On a recent “60 Minutes” news program reporter Scott Pelley observed that “Nearly everyone in Ukraine is a witness with a camera.  One daring witness was Ukrainian medic, Yuliia Paievska, who filmed the wounded and dying in the port city of Mariupol as it fell to the invaders.  She smuggled the video to the Associated Press on a small memory chip, right before Russians took her captive. Her fate is unknown.

We Christians are witnesses, too, and in a world that seems to be falling apart we can report God’s compassionate, transforming work with our smartphones.  At GNA we work towards the day when “every Christian is a witness with a camera”.
GNA is preparing online tutorials to train you and your church or ministry to become smartphone reporters.  We welcome your support to make this happen (please use the donation button below). Thank you for praying and helping us report the good deeds of Christians everywhere.

Stan Jeter, GNA Founder/CEO
“Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”  (Mt 5:16 NLT)