March 24, 2022
Here’s the latest as of Thursday, March 24, 2022 about what I’ve found out about Chernihiv, Ukraine.
This is where we have been working with the Center of Rehabilitation for Disabled Children since 1996 with founders and directors pediatrician Dr. Vasyl Pasichnyk and his wife Natalia Zenchenko who is the head neurologist in the province. The location of Chernihiv is indicated by the red dot.
My conversation was with people with whom we have a common mission in Chernihiv—Alan and Pauline Hilliar who live in Essex in the United Kingdom. Pauline Hilliar told me she was on BBC yesterday and told some of the following story. We have met several times with the Hilliar’s in Chernihiv over the years. I have not been able to get through to the people in Chernihiv the last week, but they have, and here’s what they told me on the phone this morning:
Yesterday, the Russians blew up the main bridge across the Desna River leading into Chernihiv. No one can come in or out of Chernihiv from the south. now Russian planes also bombed a supermarket killing people lined up to go inside. Whenever we speak to these people they beg us to tell Biden to initiate a no-fly zone so that these barbaric attacks will stop. The Russians want to starve out the city.
All those working at the Center of Rehabilitation are staying there around the clock. They were able to get a generator for electricity which is sporadic. The generator runs only two hours a day basically to provide light. There is no running water. A water truck comes by every day оr they go pick it up in barrels. There is very little gas and it's only used for cooking food for the children. There is no gas for heating. It's cold. They sleep with their clothes on taking off only their shoes and coats. Food for children is prepared in the outside courtyard, called ironically, the "Garden of Peace."
We want to get aid to them and I was wondering how they are getting by. LifeNets had made a sizeable donation to them in 2021 and they are living off of that. I’m so glad that we were able to do that then and that that help is being used right now. But, no amount of money is going to help if there is nothing to buy.
They have dug holes in the lawn around the Center for the children to use as toilets.
The Hilliar’s told me that a convoy of eight trucks left their charity FelstedAid for Moldova with humanitarian items for Ukraine, including tens of thousands of pairs of shoes.
This is convoy number 84 of vehicles that they have sent over the years. Amazing people. Lots of love for fellow human beings.
The people in Ukraine are frustrated and devastated by the inhumanity of the Russians. We are all beyond words and even our own feelings about the evil and the wickedness as one man holds the entire world at bay.
We started working with these people because of the nuclear power plant Chernobyl which is 30 miles west of Chernihiv. Now, we are helping them again in an entirely different way in the shadows of another nuclear threat.
My cousin and his family who have fled Kharkiv for Western Ukraine told us “Tell your God to stop this!” We have. Won’t you pray, too?