Out of Mariupol

Accounts emerging from besieged cities in Ukraine tell of the danger and the struggles of merely trying to live from day to day. On the other hand getting out of places like Kromatorsk and Mariupol is fraught with difficulty.
The strategy of helpers is to get humanitarian aid in, and on the way back to bring out those who need to leave, but often this proves impossible because of constant gunfire and shelling.

Roman had two cousins living in Mariupol where he himself had lived. As war intensified he moved to western Ukraine, from where he advised the two girls to get out of their apartment and move away from the city as soon as possible.

However, having lived there for eight years without real worries or anxieties, they chose to stay on. By the time they realized how extremely seriousness the situation had become, it was too late to escape.

They found themselves in a city which was cut off from the outside world – there was no petrol for cars, no electricity, no power, no water. Food was running short and there was no way out. They risked death getting out of the apartment during breaks in the shelling, to get water and food.

Should they go down and hide in the basement, the safest place to shelter from bombardment? They greatly feared being buried there if the building should be hit. So they took the decision to stay in their second floor apartment.

All the time the girls were praying for God’s help, and miraculously He preserved them

The attacks continued and their balcony was destroyed and a wall pierced as a result of shelling. The windows were broken and in the freezing temperatures they put on as many clothes as they could and tried to keep warm.

Food was scarce and they had no option but to live on what was found in abandoned stores. They could eat this, or starve.

All the time the girls were praying for God’s help, and miraculously He preserved them. Eventually Russian troops who had been moving people out of the city, arrived at their apartment.

The girls’ names were added to a list of those to be moved out of Mariupol to Russia. They had no choice in this – it was compulsory. In this way they were removed from the almost obliterated city, and are now on Russian soil, hoping and praying that they will soon be able to return to Ukraine.

Such stories could be replicated many times. People in besieged cities are in desperate straits, and believers are not exempt from the dangers and the results of devastation around them.

Pray for God’s people in such extreme and difficult situations, that they will know the assurance of God’s presence and His unfailing love for them.