Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. Psalm 71:9

Sveltana

In every corner of Ukraine, from the bustling city centres to the quietest rural settlements, an utterly heart-wrenching story continues to unfold. It speaks of our precious elderly Jewish brothers and sisters, who have so bravely spent their lives fighting the life-threatening battles of antisemitic attacks and violent hatred. Now in their golden years of life, they are being forced to confront their most formidable foe: the silent killer of neglect, despair and extreme loneliness.
Our Rescue Team found 79 year old Svetlana, living in an old dilapidated house without electricity, running water and life-sustaining food. When they entered this dear sister’s home, they were shocked to see the horrific and life-threatening conditions that she was forced to live in. If we didn’t move into action, there was little chance that Svetlana would survive more than another few weeks.

Tanya, our coordinator sat down to speak with Svetlana so that she could determine her living conditions.  

Svetlana: “I am so tired, hungry and lonely. I often go weeks with little or no human contact. To be honest, I have given up hope that I will ever feel loved again.”

Tanya: “I am so sorry that you are feeling like this. How are you managing to live without electricity and running water?”

Svetlana: “Strangely, I have forgotten what life is like any other way. Each night before I sleep, I go outside and pump ice cold water into a basin, then I come back in and wash up. It’s very uncomfortable. After, I blow out the candle by my bed, wrap myself in 3 blankets and try to sleep the best that I can.”

Listening to Svetlana’s answers was absolutely heartbreaking. After a few moments of silence, Tanya presented Svetlana with a plan… a plan to live in our Senior Care Home where she could be part of our loving family. Upon hearing this offer, Svetlana began to sob uncontrollably. She was overwhelmed with feelings of warmth and hope that she hadn’t felt for years. With tears rolling down her cheeks, she nodded yes… whispering… “I will come…”

Today, our dear sister is now safe in our Senior Care Home, where she is beginning to receive the life-saving services and tender loving care that she needs to rise up once again. What a blessing! 

May God bless you abundantly for blessing and taking care of our elderly Jewish brothers and sisters.

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