Brotherly Love Prevails Amid Ongoing Crisis in Ukraine

We are saddened to report that two of our sisters were killed during bombing in the city of Mariupol. Currently, there are still more than 2,000 of our brothers and sisters who are unable to flee the city because of the heavy fighting. During the past few days, about 150 Witnesses succeeded in escaping.

Left: A sister from Ukraine is welcomed by brothers and sisters in Stuttgart, Germany. Top right: Brothers from Poland delivering relief supplies to Ukraine. Bottom right: Buildings destroyed by bombs

Brothers working with a Disaster Relief Committee (DRC) attempted to bring relief supplies into Mariupol but had to turn back when they and other humanitarian aid convoys came under fire. A bomb fell into the yard of a complex with a Kingdom Hall and an Assembly Hall. About 200 of our brothers and sisters were sheltering in the basement of the Kingdom Hall at that time. The brothers were not hurt, but their vehicles were destroyed, further hampering efforts to escape the city.

An elder (pictured below) who succeeded in leaving Mariupol with his family related: “We lost our apartment, our jobs, and contact with our friends. Our trip, which would normally take one day, took us six days. As we drove [out of the city], we saw smoke coming from unexploded projectiles along the road. All along the way, our brothers helped us find accommodations and food. We feel Jehovah’s deep care for us as our Father . . . This convinces us to trust Jehovah completely.”

Witness refugees from Ukraine have traveled to several European countries to find safety. For example, a ministerial servant, his wife, and their three children, aged 7, 11, and 16, traveled to Portugal where they have relatives who are Jehovah’s Witnesses. After an 11-hour wait to cross the border, the family traveled over 4,000 kilometers (2,485 mi) in four days to reach the home of their relatives. They arrived just before the beginning of the congregation meeting. Though they do not speak Portuguese, the family maintained their spiritual routine and tied in to the meeting. The congregation was impressed by how happy the family appeared despite the difficulty of their situation.  {continue reading here}

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