By Sharon T. Markey
September 4, 2022

Today we went to the Hungarian city of Sárvár to distribute aid to a number of Ukrainian families living there.

One of the refugees we met was a lady named Tetiana. She is from Papasna, a Ukrainian city next to the Luhansk People’s Republic, one of two regions where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian army since 2014.

Papasna came under heavy shelling early in the war, and Tetiana and her two children had to shelter in a basement for a month and a half. When the Ukrainian army was finally forced to retreat from the city, they discovered this family in their cellar hideout and helped them get safely out of the city. Eventually they ended up in Hungary, where they are trying to rebuild their life. Papasna has been destroyed, and they have no home to go back to.

Tetiana has a job in Sárvár assembling coffee makers, and her boss helped her find part of a house to rent. She asked her landlord if she could have a plot of land for gardening, and he gave her permission to use half of the backyard. Ukrainians love to garden, and she soon had a flourishing vegetable garden. Her landlord was so impressed that he told her to use the entire yard! Now she is sharing fresh produce with all the neighbors, enriching those around her, even though she has lost everything herself.