"You have to live"

Daughters of Charity near the front in Ukraine
July 07, 2022
Sœur Magdalena et Sœur Marta

The time of war continues...

Here, in the Odessa region, we feel its horror. Strategic places are destroyed, but not only. In our region, residential buildings have also been destroyed. We visited these families and saw their immense pain at losing in one moment what they had spent years building with great effort. Our experience, our compassion for these simple people who escaped death, pushed us to act. We organised a fundraising campaign to rebuild the home of the first family and make the building habitable. Today, the roof has been renovated and new windows and doors have been installed. The work continues.

We met people of great faith and humility at the same time. In the face of such a tragedy, they have remained calm and grateful to God for life.

Our daily ministry as Daughters of Charity continues. More and more people are arriving every day and seeking refuge in Odessa. These are people from the besieged areas. There are more and more of them. Refugees, they come every day for humanitarian aid... you have to live!

Every week, we go with the Depaul association outside Nikolai, to free villages. There, we provide food aid to the people who have stayed behind, mainly the elderly, the handicapped, the sick... We bring clothes and medicines and we also provide larger shipments of socks and underwear for soldiers who cannot clean their clothes at the front.

Yesterday, the last day of May, we reached a village where people were waiting for help. Depaul volunteers distributed food and we had the opportunity to meet these war-torn people. Their desire to talk... to share... confirms that "being here and now" is necessary.

We visited a hospital in Bashtanka that was recently bombed. Several buildings were completely destroyed, in others all (331) windows and doors were blown out. .... This is a district hospital which also receives wounded soldiers, as the front is 50 km away. Despite the conditions, the sick are treated, including soldiers. The windows have been secured with thick film, or plywood. The facilities are being made safe. The determination of the staff to seek help is surprising and moving.

We know that nothing fills the heart more than grace, in the place and time that the Lord has prepared.

Each of us is filled with His grace to communicate it, and it is an experience of the realisation of His will. Being with people regardless of fear, for it is He who brings comfort and tenderness.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your prayers which guide, strengthen and support us.

Extract from a letter from the Sisters of Odessa dated 01-06-2022.