From Kharkiv to Israel

The Testimony of Natalia from Ukraine

My name is Natalia, I’m a war refugee from Ukraine. My hometown, Harkiv is on the Ukrainian–Russian border.

On February 24th we woke up to some strange noise. Looking out the window I realized everyone was running in the direction of the metro station seeking shelter. We knew this could happen any moment, I grabbed my 7-year-old son, our essentials and ran down to the shelter in our basement.

My son and I spent more than a week hiding, but we ran out of food, water and medication rapidly. My son has asthma so I had to go to the pharmacy. The shelves were empty, there was no life-saving or sedative medicine. The shelter was freezing cold and humid, many mothers died after giving birth because of the lack of medical attention.

We realized that the Russians were bombing the civilian population, we had to leave our country as quick as we could.

Our community had to face another obstacle: petrol stations locked down due to the lack of fuel. The closest open station was 70 kilometres away and the maximum limit was 20 liters. We spent a lot of time in our vehicles, we went through a lot of hardship. My car was in the middle of a bombing area, but we were not harmed. We consider it a miracle that we survived it all.

My son and I found temporary shelter in Hungary, but we are moving to Israel soon. Israel will grant visas to 5,000 non-Jewish refugees seeking to escape the war.

We believe God protected us.