Ukraine Relief Update: March 22, 2022
Jason R. | CPM Israel and Beit Sar Shalom in Berlin, Germany
Janice R. writes: It’s been an interesting day here at the train station. I had a chance to help several families and doing so has really put a smile on their faces. At one point, we were trying to find someone with tools to fix a stroller for a mom with a five-year-old son and a five-month-old baby. The wheels were falling off the stroller as this poor woman was trying to hurry around the enormous train station. We found a gentleman who then found some tools and got it fixed.
One of our volunteers was helping a brother and sister who are in their 60s, and they were with their mother who is in her 80s. They had to leave home so fast from Ukraine that their mother’s clothes were still in the washing machine. They took them still wet, and after traveling for so many days, the clothes never dried. So, our volunteer took her to a shop and bought her some fresh clothes. Now, they’re on their way. So, that’s an amazing story.
Today, the authorities asked us to keep our eyes out specifically for any young ladies that are traveling alone in order to keep them safe and in public areas. We have been escorting ladies around, getting them from their arrival areas to their departure platform and even walking them to the restrooms. Today, this was an important mission for our team.
Our tall, amazing grandpa of the team has been lifting the spirits of the children and literally lifting them and tossing them up in the air. Then the gleeful laughter of these children just fills the air with joy and happiness. It just brings tears to my eyes to watch the way these kids are absolutely loving the care, the attention, and the time with them.
I had a wonderful conversation with a grandma here today, and she was talking about how all the help that they’ve been getting is just bringing them to tears. It was completely unexpected that people are showing such goodness. She said that she didn’t need anything for herself or her daughter’s baby because when they got to Poland, all their needs were met. The fact that we are here, giving of our own time and helping, just brought her to tears. Then she said that she realized, “It’s in hard times that we cry out to God,” and she said, “You know it’s important that we remember, we always forget to ask Him, to cry out to God in the good times as well, and to remember to thank Him for the good times.” It was a really sweet conversation.
We do have one encouraging testimony about our team in general. Some of the other volunteers have been watching us, and some have said that they consider our team the best. They told us that they all know the first name of one particular member of our group. We know it is the Lord working through us, and it’s amazing how God is revealing this to the non-believers working alongside us.
I just met with an elderly lady named Zolda.* When we approached her, it was obvious in her eyes that she was absolutely destroyed. It turns out she was at the wrong station. She didn’t have the language to know so she was somehow sent to the train station rather than the bus station. She had been travelling for days to meet up with her daughter, who had already arrived in Berlin. I’m so glad I was able to catch her and that we all worked together and able to get in touch with her daughter. I finished helping them connect, and they just left the station together.
Hi, my name is Danielle and I want to share a story with you that occurred as I was serving yesterday. We arrived at the train station. As we started service, a woman approached me. It was amazing that among all the volunteers she could have chosen, she approached us asking us to help them. She had her family outside, including grandma, a toddler, and even a dog. They had just met up and wanted to continue their travels together. So, we went outside to help them with their luggage. We got them to the dining hall, and in the dining hall, I was able to start talking to the mom, who was in her thirties.
She began to share about who she was and where she was from. Then, she asked me where I am from, and I told her that I am from Israel. She really didn’t understand why an Israeli is there helping her. So I explained that we are a group that was sent from Israel in order to help. She still didn’t really understand, so I explained that we are believers, Messianic Jewish followers of Jesus and that we feel like this is what we should be doing, simply to support one another, like a family to be there for each other, to love one another, and to be together.
I told her that it does not matter if I’m from Israel or anywhere else in the world. We are all human beings, and this is a season when we need to be together, to support, strengthen, love, and hug. As I was explaining this, she began to cry and was very moved. They said it is amazing that such people exist in the world. We moved forward and started taking food for the kids and the rest of the family. She then began to open up and explain how difficult it really is for her. It is really difficult that she is here and her husband is there fighting, and it is impossible to know what is really going on. She is just exhausted by the travel, looking out for grandma and the children.
I looked at her and said, “Can I give you a hug?” She said, “Yes.” As I gave her a hug, I just felt such pain in her. On the outside, she had a strong facade, with lots of smiles and politeness. However, inside, she was in such pain. I asked her if I could pray for her. She said that she would very much appreciate prayer. That was the first time I can say that I prayed for someone in Russian, and it just simply flowed, smoothly, from the heart, exactly the words that I needed to pray and how to pray them. As I was praying, she kept adding, “Yes, and pray for this too.” In the end, it was a powerful time of prayer for both her and me as we prayed together. At the end, we said, “Amen.”
It was amazing for me to see someone so open and ready. It was such an honor and a privilege for me to be there for them, to simply support them and sit with the daughter, and sit and talk with the grandma and look at the family photos.
Yesterday, as we were sitting and discussing the past events with our team, I realized there were just so many people in front of her, but she chose us. I understand that this is all part of the plan of God. God brought her to me. Our entire conversation wasn’t worthless. On the contrary, I’m so encouraged to know that God is in control. It is simply a pleasure to know that God is in the midst of the work that we are doing.