Anastasia Zyabko, her little daughter Kira (4 years old), and her mother Yelena became refugees in May 2022. That was when their village of Stariy Saltiv in the Kharkiv region was bombed. But before then, everything was quiet, and there were no signs of war in their area.
But then the war started suddenly and was terrifying. The bombardment didn’t stop and people couldn’t leave their cellars for days. The village was cut off from all provisions, medical help, and even water.
Anastasia shared that a missile hit one of the houses in the village, and a fire broke out. They quickly realized that the fire could reach the natural gas pipeline, which could cause a massive explosion. They knew that they had to put the fire out somehow, but there was already no water in the village. So people started bringing sand from the sand piles where children used to play to put out the fire. They fought very hard against the blaze and succeeded.
Anastasia then shared a little more about their personal experience: “We spent four horrible days in the cellar. And when the first opportunity to leave arose, I didn’t think twice about it. I only took a few essential items. We didn’t even have time to change our clothes after staying in the cellar. Little Kira is still afraid when she hears unexpected, loud noises and screams, ‘They are bombing us!’ Kira has had to grow up too quickly…”
Anastasia was very happy to receive the iCare food package from Mission Eurasia, sharing, “We lost absolutely everything and are so grateful for any assistance that people can provide us.”
While Mission Eurasia volunteers were still visiting Anastasia and Kira, little Kira opened the iCare food box and started looking at everything inside. She was delighted to find a book for her and sat down to flip through the pages. Then she heard the adults talk about God. Little Kira looked up and added, “I also pray. I ask God for peace.”