Ukrainian Refugee Update
May 1st, 2022
April 1st upon arrival to Camp of the Good Shepherd, Mr. Nikolae with his wife and two grandsons. If you’ve read the April 2nd update you know that Mr. Nikolae was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer that had metastasized through-out his abdomen.
On April 20th, Mr. Nikolae passed from this life in his room at Camp of the Good Shepherd surrounded by his family – minus his son who was not allowed to leave Ukraine. Mr. Nikolae was the first refugee to pass away in our county. The family wished to have him cremated so they can take his ashes back to Ukraine whenever they can go back ‘home’.
This past Friday evening, April 29th, a memorial service was held at camp where his wife, grandsons, daughter-in-law and her parents could share their memories and celebrate his life.
The entire family wishes to thank all of the donors to Heart of Hope for the wonderful care that Mr. Nicolae received and all of the support in every way that the family received during these difficult weeks.
I am now back in the States until June 13th and Dr. Scott Packham, chairman of our board of directors, is currently in Sibiu with a dear friend of his, Mr. Bart Tilly. Dr. Packham and Mr. Tilly were able to attend the memorial service for Mr. Nikolae and have had the opportunity to meet his family and all of the rest of the refugee families we are caring for.
The following update and pictures were sent to me today, May 1st by Dr. Packham – please enjoy!
"Greetings from Camp of the Good Shepherd! I have spent a week with these lovely and strong Ukrainian people and have been so impressed with the ‘village’ they have created together here.
This week we bought supplies for the men to build a chicken coop near the back of the camp, and flowers for the women to plant a flower garden just outside the dining room. We also brought supplies from the States and were able to set up a frisbee golf course at camp."
Pictured below left: Mr. Anatoley, Mr. Vladamir and American volunteer - Mr. Tilly getting ready to build the chicken coop!
Pictured below right: The women will tend the flower garden adding beauty to camp.
Pizza & Laughter
"On Saturday night we gathered the teens for a night in Sibiu, where we all enjoyed pizza and ice cream. There was laughter in the van all the way home. Sunday the entire crew piled into the vans to attend church followed by a picnic at a beautiful park. It is so amazing to see the love shown by the church here. They have provided a zoom app to translate the service into Ukrainian and invited them into their homes for Easter last week and welcomed them into their church family."
"Although there are smiles and fellowship, all of them show constant stress thinking about what is happening back in Ukraine. The women talk and face-time with their husbands daily. One of them told me today that her husband agreed with her that they may have to stay here for a long time. I think as a whole they are starting to share that feeling. Yesterday, a nurse named Nina left to make the journey back into Ukraine to help her former hospital in the effort there. There were tears from her family remaining here as she got in the car to head back to the border. Heart of Hope was able to give her financial support to help with the trip and she was very grateful for the care she has received here and for this loving gift – she will never forget God’s provision and her time here."
"We have made it clear that Heart of Hope’s commitment is to give them
a safe place to stay for as long as it is necessary, provide for their needs, and help them to get home when the time comes. We all hope and pray that time will come soon."
"Your gifts are reaching those most in need here and are truly providing loving care in the name of Christ. We expect two more mothers with their children to arrive this week. Mr. Tilly and I will head back to the States after our quick week of service here with these dear refugees ever remaining in our prayers. Thank you Heart of Hope friends and partners for your prayers, care, and generosity."