A Christian missionary fleeing Kyiv for the Ukrainian – Polish border described escaping the capital in a 13-hour car journey as surreal and crazy, “like a dream”, but added that she has experienced “real moments of light”.
Christiana Moon, who’s from England, has been sheltering at the home of two Ukrainian Christian women in the western city of Lviv. She plans to board a bus to Poland, then fly to England.
The 22-year-old, who teaches the Bible at Youth With A Mission (YWAM)’s base near Kyiv, said it was surreal that last Sunday she enjoyed a normal church service in her Ukrainian church, and now all her friends are scattered, having had to make on the spot decisions about safety.
She said: “I can’t believe last Sunday, I led Bible study with my church, that it was just normal. The Russian invasion was just rumours at that point. We had a normal Sunday service. Now the sky in Kyiv is grey with smoke.”
Moon, from Essex, said she doesn’t regret returning to Ukraine a few weeks ago from England, because “every moment has been precious” and has drawn her closer to God.
She said: “It’s just so weird, but I’m so glad I came back and every moment has been really precious. And it’s been a great journey of trusting God when you have to make so many quick decisions. There’s lots of people giving you advice or panicking around you. It’s been really good for me to learn how to listen to His voice.”
She said the fact that Christians in Lviv have opened up their home to her has been a gospel witness to other people she met on the journey.
Moon, who has lived in Ukraine for four years, said: “It’s been very humbling, and I think is an incredible gospel witness, particularly for people who are not believers. We met this family at the train station, a mother and a daughter … they asked what we were doing, and we said ‘Okay, well, we’re heading to this church contact, we have a house as refugees. Do you want to come?’ And they said, ‘Yes’. It was really awesome for them. Because they’re just amazed that complete strangers would just be willing to open up their apartment to us… And their church itself is hosting so many people. It’s really, I think, an incredible moment of light that I’ve seen during this time.”