Natchitoches’ First United Methodist Church’s men’s breakfast had a guest speaker from the Ukraine Sunday, January 15. Ms. Liana Chigantseva of Pavlograd in Ukraine’s Dnipro Region spoke movingly of her, and her family and friends’, experiences during the Russian invasion.
Ms.Chigantseva is the daughter of the pastor of Paylograd’s New Generation Church. Four years ago she met Angie Kelly of Bossier City while Ms. Kelly was on a mission trip to a church camp run by Ms. Chigantseva’s father’s church and a friendship developed. She spoke of the hardships and uncertainties arising from the war. She would sleep dressed in her clothes with a small suitcase of her most valuable possessions in case she had to flee a Russian advance, or if a bomb hit their building. In the cold of an advancing Ukrainian winter, utilities would, at best, only be available for a few hours each day. Her boyfriend joined the Ukrainian army and is serving at the front. Her family and church still stand in harm’s way.
While one may watch the news and see the fighting and damage done by bombs and missiles, it is another thing entirely to hear from a young woman who had experienced these things directly.