by Oles, New City Vineyard Church
The trip to Chernobyl was a success. We drove in a group of 9 people in two buses and a car. In the beginning, we had serious difficulties due to the bureaucracy in which the possibility of corruption could be seen. Local officials did not allow us to give food to the organizations that invited us and have shortage in supplies.
I haven't been in situations like this for a long time, but it all reminded me of the times of the collapse of the USSR. Unfortunately, it still remains the same in many ways.
We realized that we need to find out for ourselves how to help the locals. Some of our group had been to this area before and had the contact of a guide who accompanied tourists in peacetime. In this way we managed to guide ourselves and find someone to go to.
We distributed the products to two military units (approximately 30 people each) and also to local civilians - self-displaced people. We just stopped near the houses, where traces of living were noticed. So we found 19 residents and had the opportunity to communicate with those who live there permanently. Most of them were there during the Russian occupation. It was interesting to hear their stories
It was an intense time of fellowship, testimony, and prayer.
There are plans for the future to continue to help people in those places.