The Power of Christmas in War

War can easily bring out the somberness of life and drearily shade one’s reality with a winter gray. For many it is draining and daily drips feelings of hopelessness. Our Allies leaders and volunteers work tirelessly to serve those in Ukraine, to bring hope and peace during a time of tension and distress.

In a very special meeting with the children in late December, we combined the Nativity of Jesus, friendship, and kindness all into one special event. This holiday season we took on the promise to gather children outside the orphanage, whose families are going through difficult times, and we tried our best to provide them with a memorable Christmas. Some children from boarding schools and families of single moms also joined us for our special celebration. Most of them happened to live in a city that is 25 km from the war territory where explosions are sadly getting more and more frequent. 

At the event, we got to play games, get acquainted with everyone, offer emotional support, and most importantly, share about the born savior and His plans for every one of us. Thankfully, it was a magical and unforgettable time. We were very happy the holiday event served as an escape from all of the chaos and pain going on around them. Everyone present had a memorable time. All of the children present received a bag of sweets and got to spend a memorable holiday away from anything related to the war.  

The volunteers expressed their joy as we got to have a long chat about the birth of Christ and bring light into the lives of these valuable, and very sadly, hurting children. We couldn't help but be grateful to be able to bring hope during such difficult times. This day was all about joy, friendship, and the hope we have in Christ. It was beyond special to witness the children laugh, smile, jump, and show nothing but positive emotions. While this is always of big value, it becomes extra special and meaningful during difficult times like this.  

Most of the children there have it very tough. One special guest, Alyonka, comes from a very small family – just her and her brother. They don’t have much and are currently struggling financially. It’s so bad that at such a young age, her 13-year-old brother has heartbreakingly been faced with the responsibility to earn money by washing cars. Beyond basic needs like food and typical household supplies, both children also require medical attention as they’re infected with HIV.  

It’s truly saddening to witness their current situation. We’ve known them for about 1.5 years, and it has undoubtedly not been easy for them. We continue to try to help with as much as possible, including food, clothes, hygiene products, etc. We decided to invite them to the event and couldn’t help but rejoice at how kind they were to the rest of the children and see their little faces filled with nothing but pure joy, even if just for a little bit.  

Now that the event is over, we can’t help but feel bitter-sweet about it all. On the one hand, we’re beyond grateful for the time we spent and for how much fun the children had, but we also find ourselves saddened that they have to go back to their difficult lives. We’ll continue to make everything possible, to keep helping, and providing for these little ones. We rest well knowing the power of Christmas can bring light and hope – even amidst the darkness of war.