VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A Vancouver church has gone above and beyond to help Ukrainian refugees, having taken in several families, with more on the way.
One family, a single mom and her young son, had a particularly long journey to the Northwest. But they are two of the fortunate ones.
Anastasia and her two-year-old son are now safe, inside the Restoration of Hearts Church in Vancouver. They escaped from Anastasia’s former home of Lutsk, Ukraine, which Russia has targeted with bombs.
The single mother said that her son was terrified.
“Every time when they had emergency signal, we went to the basements to hide from the bombs. Of course, he was crying all the time,” Anastasia said via translator. “I experienced everything. Explosions and soldiers and army.”
Anastasia and her son escaped to Poland before traveling to Mexico, then walked across the border to San Diego. After arriving in America, she was connected with Restoration of Hearts Church.
“They have no friends. They have no families. They have nobody. So, it’s the reason why we try to step forward and to help those families, especially if they have nobody here,’ said church pastor Viktor Koroteyev.
Koroteyev says the church is helping refugees like Anastasia with everything from food and clothing, to lodging, to getting a drivers’ license and a job.
“They need everything. They even came with a little suitcase or even without any suitcases,” Koroteyev said.
The church is planning on taking in Ukrainian refugees for as long as necessary. They also have been sending containers of supplies to those still in Ukraine, as well as seeking financial donations and temporary lodging for them.
Koroteyev, who is originally from Russia, says that this mission is personal.
“I truly believe we belong to one God in our God, he’s our father. And there are no borders and no division between us. If my brothers in Ukraine are suffering, we are ready to help,” Koroteyev said.