As you know, there has been a full-scale war in Ukraine for over 100 days. Although it’s hard to admit, everyone knows someone who is on the front lines. Many have emigrated to safe countries.
Our communities in Lviv and Ternopil are in the area furthest away from hostilities, but this does not mean that we do not feel the war. Many refugees from the east of the country have come to our cities. Almost every day we hear the sound of sirens announcing the air threat. Sometimes this roar is interrupted by the sound of explosions and, after the explosions, by the sirens of emergency vehicles, until finally silence falls.
During the war, we all love the silence. We receive it as good news.
The war has shown us the great connection of L’Arche around the world. We feel enormous support and are very grateful to every person and community who reached out to help us. We have received many messages with assurances of prayer and expressions of support and encouragement.
Our twice-weekly prayer times still center us. We are very grateful to all those who have participated. This has been very important and has made a huge difference to many of us.
Your support has made it possible for humanitarian aid, in the form of food and necessities, to reach us and keep us going. The war has affected the economy of our country and, therefore, the situation of all Ukrainians. Thanks to your help our L’Arche workshops can continue to operate, and our community can remain connected as we have purchased equipment for remote communication. Our community has also expanded as we accept more refugees from the intense violence in the East.
Community life continues despite the war and the alarm sirens. We organize community meetings and celebrations, although mainly via the internet. This is not a big problem, the most important thing is that we have each other and everyone is alive and safe. Alarm sirens, after 100 days of war, are not as scary as before – especially in knowing we are not alone. There is a shelter near every workshop that we all know the way to and go to without panicking when there is an alarm. Still, we find it hard to get used to war. We hope that it will end soon.
With this letter, we want to thank you for every form of support and invite you to a free and peaceful Ukraine! We believe that this will happen soon.
With gratitude and prayers for you all, also for a quick end to the war,
Lesia Larikova & Oksana Zakharevych
On behalf of all members of the L’Arche communities of Lviv and Ternopil