You Saved Our Lives…

I had the privilege of travelling to the airport with this young family as they were about to leave for Israel.  They had been living in the base near Dnepropetrovsk where Ezra helps to house families from the war zone as they wait for their consular check and finalise their documentation.

Roman and Anna come from Bryanka in the Lugansk region and were making Aliyah with their five-year old son, Aleksandr (Sasha).  Anna was nervous as she hadn’t flown for many years and Sasha was excited as he’d never flown before.  Roman was the only one of the three who’d been in Israel previously and he was the calmest of the three.  He tells their story:

“We had thoughts of leaving for Israel already before the war as my Father lives there.  We hadn’t seen him in a long time and he really wanted to see his grandson.  However, the events of this past year speeded up our decision, especially as I lost my job.

The decision was easy in that in our region there is no possibility of living a normal life.  There is a continual change of power and it’s not clear where to go or who to ask for help.  We have a five year old son and he’s not been able to go to nursery already for 6 months because of the constant shooting.  And we’re sick of hiding in the basement.  When a wave of shooting comes you simply have to deal with it—and that’s reality.  We’ve had problems with water since the summer.  It happened that for one month there was none at all.  People were standing in the streets in queues for water so that they could make something to eat.  There was no heating, no money and a lack of produce in the shops.

Ezra helped us with everything!  They started by helping us with our passports and finished by bringing us to the airport today.  They brought us from Lugansk through Russia and it took 36 hours.  We were stopped at the checkpoints, the customs checked all our belongings and the weather wasn’t great—heavy fog and rain.  They also took us to the Consul several times, provided accommodation and food.  We didn’t have to pay for any of this.  We were able to relax a bit as they supported us and encouraged us.  And now they’ve brought us to the airport, helping us with our luggage.

Thank you that you, at the risk of your own lives, saved our lives and not only saved them but also ensured our future existence.  An enormous thank you.”

Note from Pat:  Ezra helps to pay food and accommodation at a base near Dnepropetrovsk where families can live while they wait for their consular checks and finalise their paperwork.  Many of those coming from the war zones cannot return when they come out for the Consul as their homes have been destroyed or it is simply not safe.  Often they are in the base for up to 6 weeks.