Ukraine With the war focus shifting to Eastern Ukraine it’s more than just words. A couple of hours ago, rockets bombed the train station in Kramatorsk, where 100’s were awaiting evacuation. Minimum 30 dead, several children. Our friends were there just minutes before the destruction, these photos are real. The rocket has spray painted in Russian ‘for the children.’ Our family has been to this town and area, our widows ministry serves in this area, it’s beautiful with a lot of history. It’s near Slavyansk.

Confirmation of event w more details shows actually 50 have died from that explosion and many more injured.

Last night we started receiving fresh inquiries for refuge at our houses south of Kyiv from fleeing families from Dnepro, and Melitopol. These are considered next targets after Mariupol (and the whole of the Donbas). Many friends are actively shuttling aid in, and families out. Those that were determined to stick it out now see what may be in store for them by the Russian army of them stay, so yet another fresh wave of 10’s of thousands of refugees are headed west. For the Russian army to target trains and evacuating families is so grievous! The live feed stories are very gruesome.

The one photo included is of burned Bibles, from Irpin. These weren’t just any Bibles, but from a ministry that had historical copies and a library. Irpin has always been a central ‘Christian’ base of many non profit and mission organizations. Soldiers gathered and destroyed as much as they could. Heart breaks for many families and friends now discovering their loved ones silence over the last 2-3 weeks was because their family members were murdered, cold blooded, found in the streets or in the discovered graves. Real people.

We’ve just returned from a two day retreat, it was a much needed moment to gather ourselves. As I now see the flurry of social media through fresh eyes, I’m conscious of the need to pray for those actively driving, tirelessly taking in aid, and those serving beyond healthy limits. Humans only have so much strength, wisdom, and emotional capacity. Crisis, as one friend commented, should naturally transition to recovery. Yet, this war has many caught in a loop of crisis management, unending emergency mode. No-one can sustain such impossible rhythms. We pray for peace, an end to the suffering – we also pray for these brave, and kind-hearted folks, many churches, missionaries, and organizations to know when they must intentionally stop and care for themselves or will break.

We meet tonight with refugees in Cluj for the 2nd week for our “Evening Together.” We have planned more small group discussions. I heard some are baking, so that’s a good sign! However, one of our dear ladies staying with just heard news her son may have been killed – he’s been missing for past few days and information has emerged that doesn’t look good. Grief. I hope our gatherings can build friendships and hope even in such despairing times. We are also trying to help place some friends in jobs that are a good fit here locally. Our Lighthouse Cafe – Ukraine is wrapping up its first full week open again south of Kyiv. Ukrainians have donated over $200 so far for the elderly/refugees in our area – in exchange for free coffee and tea. Thank you friends!

Thank you for remaining open-hearted and tracking, as much as you are able, with the atrocities taking place. The worse thing that could happen is that we all become numb to inhumanity, I think we loose a little piece of ourselves when we close our eyes. It certainly has us all asking what in life we deeply, truly value, doesn’t it?