Ukrainian Refugee Update
April 2nd, 2022
Cancer Doesn't Care about War
Last week I told you about the Anatoley family pictured below. There is now more to the story. The other grandparents had traveled with them, but when they reached the Romanian side of the border Mr. Nicolay was feeling so ill that our partner there kept he and his wife for medical observation before then sending them to us. The family knew he hadn’t felt well since Christmas but assumed it might be an ulcer or the stress of thinking about war. We received the news Wednesday that after many tests and scans it was determined that Mr. Nicolay has stage 4, non-operable, non-treatable, pancreatic cancer. The two choices were to stay in the hospital in Iasi or travel to us to be with family.
Pictured at Left
Mr. Anatoley and his wife, daughter, and 2 grandsons
Pictured at Left
Mr. Nicolay and his wife,
On Wednesday, my partner here in ministry, Madalin (when time allows, I will introduce him) and I sat with the family to give the news. As you can imagine it was a shock. We had to explore the family dynamic to see if the family was willing to take on the responsibility of caring for Mr. Nicolay until it is necessary for him to stay in hospital. They tearfully, and with a full open heart, implored us to bring him as quickly as possible to Camp of the Good Shepherd. We assured the family we will do all to help make this time as comfortable as possible. We ended our time together in prayer and tears for all. He arrived Friday night to this new refuge, to where he will probably complete this season of life.
I am writing you on Saturday night, April 2nd, on Sunday we have arranged for an Oncologist to come to explain ‘next steps’ - care, nutrition, etc. Understandably, Mr. Nicolay wants to return to his homeland, but he also doesn’t want to be responsible for putting his extended family in harms way. His wife reminded him that they were hiding under their bed as bullets flew over their head…he agreed to stay here and let us nourish, nurture, and provide comfort to him and his family. Mr. Nicolay’s son, the twin’s father, remains in Ukraine and at this point Mr. Nicolay is insisting on not telling him, not wanting to distract him from the war or burden him with more stress.
I mentioned one of our ministry partners, Madalin, who is a pastor, businessman, and lay minister. He has been facilitating the refugees that come to Camp of the Good Shepherd. One of his partners, a pastor and his wife from Iasi are the ones that took care of Mr. Nicolay at the hospital in Iasi and then transported them 7 hours to us. The Lord has had his hand on them each step of the way, with His followers showing up at the right time to demonstrate His love and care. We ask your continued prayers for all of the family.
The good feeling you get from a great haircut is universal! Tuesday and Wednesday we had stylists come to pamper our guests. Stylist, Lara, (pictured above) had already worked a 7-hour day and then came to camp for a ‘couple of hours’ which turned into an additional 6 hours! She treated our ladies to professional haircuts and tender loving care.
Pictured below is Rebeca, from Home of Hope, continuing her stylist practice and her friend (whose name escapes me at this late writing) giving numerous haircuts to the children and teens we have at camp. It was 2 wonderful afternoons to be a little pampered! I also brought 12 random colors of hair dye and the ladies loved trying new colors too!
Our newest arrival is single mom, Victoria, and her son who clearly did not want his picture taken! Victoria was afraid to come to Romania, so she fled her war-torn city for Germany. She thought she would find a safe haven there, but she ended up in a gymnasium style facility with 800 other refugees. After a week there and finding the only thing her son could eat there was bread with pate on it, she decided to try Romania.
Once again, the Lord had his gracious hand on Victoria and led her to Camp of the Good Shepherd. She told me today that this was the first time she has seen her son eat anything that resembles home-made Ukrainian food in a couple of weeks. She is settling in, relaxing, catching her breath.
There are so many more stories to tell, and I hope to get to each one. Thank you to our partners and friends who are truly providing a refuge, a safe home away from home. Your generosity and prayers are deeply appreciated, Debbie