By Matt Raley
The Russian invasion of Ukraine can easily be something we watch on TV or social media, forgetting that real people are suffering. TMC’s own Tim Mikityuk is from a Ukrainian family who for a while lived in Belarus-a nation now cooperating with Russia in the war. Tim says that in our busy lives in the U.S., the conflict might become “out of sight, out of mind.”
But Tim’s sister has a church friend named Vika who got caught up in the war.
Vika was in a suburb of Kyiv getting a medical procedure at the end of February. She was to return to a clinic for a check-up, but the invasion had begun. Kyiv was under attack. So she left with only her wallet, phone, and identification. Strangers let her ride with them as they drove to the Polish border to flee Ukraine.
The closer they got to the border, the worse the roads became. Abandoned cars and refugees clogged the highways. Soon, they had to leave the car behind and press on toward the border by foot. By the time they got there, the guards closed the doors for the night. Vika was stuck at one of the worst places for abduction and sex trafficking in the world.
By God’s grace, she got through the border safely. Sleeping wherever she could, she eventually made her way to Rome. There she was quarantined because she had caught Covid. She is now back home in the U.S.
Vika feels that God put her in places where she could help fellow Ukrainians in their suffering. In both Poland and Rome, she spent her time translating for fleeing Ukrainians, helping them deal with authorities and find the information they needed.
Other Ukrainian-Americans are serving. Tim’s brother-in-law Vladimir Voloshinov will spend two weeks on the Ukrainian-Romanian border, taking a nephew Dima with him. As an American citizen, Vladimir can transport food from Romania to refugees in Ukraine, bringing refugees back on the truck to camps in Romania. Tim’s sister Alla says, “This is all done on a personal basis, so it’s expensive, but we believe that the Lord will provide.”
If you would like to help with this effort, please contact Tim Mikityuk!