Martin | Slovakia | March | 2022
Dear Friends and Partners,
How many times have you heard Jesus’ words (Matt 25:35-36):
“I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me”
Personally, I have read them many times, but I have never thought that they would encompass intensively our daily lives here in CCE and LAMS. These words came usually to my mind when I was occasionally helping a few homeless Slovaks from Martin. However, with the Russian aggression and thousands of Ukrainian refugees in Slovakia, these words have become a daily routine for many of us. Our volunteers in three-day shifts serve refugees with food and something to drink after they cross the border having escaped bombing with only small backpacks. We arrange housing, transportation, food, and clothing for them so they can finally settle in peace without hurrying to bomb shelters. We help them with Slovak temporary documents, placing their children in schools, finding them jobs, and listening to their stories among many more important ways to help. Thanks also to your support, we can help these people who are in real need.
One of them is Anton Serhiienko, a 12-year-old Ukrainian boy from a city near the capital Kiev. He came to Slovakia with his mom, cousins, and grandfather. As he says, his first days in Martin and our school were very difficult, but now he has friends and enjoys playing soccer with them. He has to adapt to our school system that is different from the Ukrainian one. Fortunately, the adaptation should not be very difficult, because the Slovak and Ukrainian languages are close to each other. Anton likes Slovak goulash but misses typical Ukrainian pierogi.
In the first week of aggression Mariana Aljou, a Slovak born Ukrainian, took her two sons through Romania to Martin. Her husband remains in the city of Odessa waiting for a draft card to the Ukrainian army. Since her coming, she has been using our Bible school office working as a coordinator for Ukrainian refugees in the Martin region. She coordinates housing and material help like groceries and clothing. She also communicates with the Slovak authorities helping the Ukrainians to obtain Slovak IDs, getting them jobs, and placing their children to schools. Coordinating health care for the refugees is an important part of her job. Many of them suffer from various diseases caused by long stays in cold and dark bomb shelters and waiting even a few days in line to cross the border.
Solomia Kalenych is a newly employed teacher in LAMS for children of Ukrainian refugees. She is a Ukrainian student at a near-by Slovak University. She oversees and help presently 16 new Ukrainian students in LAMS. Her main job is to teach Ukrainian students our Slovak language so they can effectively study in our school and adapt to life in Slovakia. The number of students in our school is likely to increase as the Russian aggression continues.
Dear friends and partners, in addition to serving the Ukrainian refugees with the same intensity and devotion we continue providing quality Christian education for our students. Based on the partnership with the Purdue University, two professors and five students from Purdue visited us from March 13 to March 18. They offered very valuable lessons and insights for our students and teachers. The presence of this Purdue crew in these war times gave us much encouragement. Slovakia remains as safe as the other Western European countries that gives us opportunity to carry on our mission. However, in addition to Slovaks there are Ukrainians who also need material or spiritual food and drink. Please, keep supporting us as together we can serve them better. And if possible, come in the summer to help us in our mission.
Yours in His service,
Adrian Kacian, Director of Development Bohdan Hroboň, president of CCE
If you want to use the CCE contacts to help Ukraine, donate money as usual with the memo “Ukraine”. We will keep you informed how the money is used.
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