®International Charitable Fund "GIFT OF LIFE"

Evacuation for Rescue

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Ukraine!

The morning of February 24, 2022 became a shocking reality for all Ukrainians. I remained calm, but there was only one thought in my head – what will happen next? War? Is this really the reality? That morning I even managed to go all over Kyiv to work to pick up a laptop and some materials that would help me with online counseling and GoL programs. This action was instinctive, because my being still refused to believe that a full-scale war had begun. On that day, we had a Bible lesson planned in the LC and it still took place! Volunteer Alona, Anna Kuchma and Olya Zinyak joined ZOOM and we read psalms… When I was returning home at 6 o’clock, I had to walk the distance of four metro stations, and was standing in a traffic jam for 3 hours.

Inna and Igor Rudzik

I am Inna Rudzik, a counselor-psychologist at the Left Bank Lutheran Prolife Center of the International Charitable Fund  “Gift of Life” (GoL). Together with my husband Igor and his mother we live in the village of Gorenichi, Bucha district, Kyiv region. Yes, this is the  district of which, the main town Bucha, witnessed war crimes of Russian soldiers – hundreds of murdered civilians (children, men and women), rape and robbery. But then we didn’t know about it…

We heard explosions, mortar fire and machine gun fire on the horizon, approaching our house, located 3 kilometers from the Zhytomyr highway, connecting Kyiv with cities in western Ukraine. This road is strategic in military terms, so from the first days of the war it was occupied and controlled by the russians, bridges were blown up. We listened to the news and realized that the evacuation route for us was closed.

Those people who still tried to pass this road, escaping from the shelling, were simply shot by russian villains in uniform with large-caliber weapons …

Each of these destroyed cars is someone’s life, the life of whole families. This is just one of the few places where such cars are now brought for storage.

For a week we were in constant fear for our lives, because planes regularly flew over us at low altitudes. Although the explosions were farther from our house, these sounds made my heart stop, run to the basement, and my muscles instinctively contracted in fear. All my family, children and friends who moved in with us began to spend more and more time in the basement of the house and even spend the night, despite the fact that it was 12 degrees Celsius – this place seemed to be the safest for us.

The Silpo supermarket, destroyed by the russians, is 3 kilometers from Inna’s house

About a week after the start of the war, while standing in one of the rooms of my house, I saw through the window how three planes flew by, one was shot down by Ukrainian air defense – it exploded in the sky. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to do anything, I just heard a loud jet sound and saw fire in the sky. When the two remaing planes turned and whistled past our house, I just sat on the floor and  groped, experiencing shock – all my life flashed before my eyes in an instant! This event forced our whole family to leave home and the next morning we, together with the children and our friends, took the most necessary things and drove to Western Ukraine in two cars, using an alternative road to bypass the Zhytomyr highway. Due to the fact that other people also fled from Kyiv, the road to the West, which usually takes 6 hours, turned into a trip lasting one and a half days! 500 kilometers, dozens of checkpoints with armed men from the Territorial Defense, checking documents and luggage, and finally we are safe. Thank God!

It took me a few days to calm down and realize what I had experienced. Prayer and Bible reading calmed my soul, and I was eager to be useful to the GoL mission, as well as to people who, like me, were forced to flee their homes and flee the war. GoL Assistant Director Roman Khodzinsky gladly accepted my request to join the Ternopil LC and offered me accommodation in his apartment in Ternopil, for which I am very grateful. Now I am very happy to be able to help refugees. Every day, at least 30 women (pregnant and with young children) receive humanitarian aid (food, hygiene, baby food, etc.) through the LC, most importantly spiritual and psychological counseling, as many of them suffered sever trauma and witnessed death.

God gives me strength for daily work, God gives me faith that Ukraine will win in this unjust war! I am extremely grateful to God for the morning of every day. Now the Ukrainian people are united in this –  their faith renewed and in this desire we are therefore invincible. The whole democratic world supports us and we are grateful to everyone for their help! Many thanks to those in the United States for donations to the Ukrainian Crisis Fund, through which we bring graces to people in need in Ukraine. Christ is Risen!


In Christ Jesus,

Inna Rudzik

Inna with refugee – Ternopil Life Center

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