Testimonies - Emergency Operation Christmas Love Campaign 2020

The Bobyk family, one of the families in the village enrolled on MWB’s sponsorship programme, live in a one-bedroom house with an outdoor toilet. Nadiya, 39, is a mother of five children, who stare curiously at Sergiy and the other MWB staff when they arrive for a visit.

A few minutes later the children come out of their hiding places to listen to their mother talk.

“The house we live in was built by my grandfather when he was young,” Nadiya said. “And it has hardly changed since then. We keep cows, pigs and poultry.

“My husband is unemployed, and he’s been struggling with depression for a long time which makes it difficult for him to be a good breadwinner. There are times when he’ll just give up with frustration and do nothing for weeks. It’s extremely difficult for me and only my faith in

God and the example of His mercy helps me and gives me strength.

“I often think that God gives people very different destinies and it can seem as though He is kinder to some people than to others. Still, I’ve learned so much from our life experiences and I’ve learned to see how strong God’s grace and mercy is towards us.

“One of His displays of love is the help provided by MWB. We regularly receive the most essential things: food, hygiene items, stationary, furniture, household items and many other things. My husband has a lot of respect for Sergiy and enjoys talking to him. Thanks to this support, he’s become more confident and industrious – and he takes more responsibility.”

She added, “I recently gave birth to our fifth child. I had to have a Cesarean and stayed in hospital for a long time. We had to borrow a lot of money.”

The family has been deeply affected by the pandemic. They own two cows and make some money selling milk in the main town, Sarny. When Ukraine imposed strict restrictions in March to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the selling of agricultural goods was limited and for a long time, the Bobyks could not earn anything. Now that the restrictions have eased, they have started selling dairy products again.

The whole family was thrilled when Sergiy gave them Operation Christmas Love (OCL) parcels. Filled with food, treats and some Christian literature about the true meaning of Christmas, the parcels make it possible for families living in poverty to have a wonderful festive celebration together.

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