Thirty missionaries with Intercede International’s partner ministry Father’s House and 147 children in their care made a harrowing escape from close to Kyiv, Ukraine, to nearby Poland, arriving in early March. Here are moments of their journey, as reported by Father’s House leader Roman Korniyko.
Angels All Around Us
The offer of two buses by a Valery carrier (which came two hours before evacuating) and the provision of last-minute passports were a miracle. Before departure, the children and adults didn’t eat or drink, to avoid stopping on the 500 kilometre stretch from Svyatopetrivsky to the Yagodyn checkpoint. When they finally stopped at a gas station in Rivne, “five minutes later the explosions suddenly began. We later learned it was the airport shelling. Police officers escorted us heroically, covering the children’s bodies in case a shell hit the gas station. They asked our buses to turn off the lights and follow them at top speed. They themselves turned on the emergency lights to show us the direction of traffic and thus caused a possible fire on themselves! These are the real Heroes and we are proud of our police! They said: ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t cry and don’t be sad! Go with God and believe that with God’s help we will soon overcome the enemy and you will return to your homeland in peace and safety! And please say a prayer for us!’”
When the Father House’s minibus broke down, the Valery carrier “became for us like an angel,” reported Korniyko, replacing the ministry’s hired bus with one of his own. He drove the buses back and forth across the border himself, a twelve hour crossing. He wouldn’t accept payment, saying he was glad for an opportunity “to save the lives of fatherless children.”
In Poland, the news that orphans had arrived in the city of Auchan spread. “One restaurant fed all of us delicious and freshly cooked hot food. While our children were eating, the doctors came and examined the children. While our buses were fueled by the city authorities with diesel, volunteers in play uniforms entertained our children at a local school. They provided the opportunity to bathe, watch educational programs and attended to our every urgent need. The children on the bus ate and ate, eating away after suffering from the previous days of the hunger strike.
“The President and city leaders and Pioter Tatarbunarsky, the director of a school in Lydia, came to us and all of them sincerely welcomed us and assured us that they would help other refugees from Ukraine. Some of our children even cried from such attention given to them. All the people with tears in their eyes escorted us as though we were relatives. Praise God for his angels! During this journey, so many of our friends in different parts of the world prayed for our evacuation and offered all kinds of help.” Since then, these missionaries and children have travelled onward to Germany, where they will stay temporarily.
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