Read the story of bravery and resilience about a loving father from Ukraine, Andrew.
June is a special month for World Relief North Texas. We not only get to honor the amazing father’s in our lives on Father’s Day, but we also celebrate World Refugee Day and World Refugee Awareness month. This is a month we celebrate the resilience, courage and strength of refugees around the world. The perfect way to highlight this month is by sharing a story of bravery and resilience from a loving father from Ukraine, Andrew.
Andrew is no stranger to starting over. In 2014 while living in South Ukraine with his family, Russia invaded the territory, displacing his family to South East Ukraine, where they lived for the following eight years. “We had a normal life between 2014 and 2022 after the first time we had to leave.”
Highlighted on news outlets across the world, 2022 brought more tragedy to Ukraine when Russia once again invaded. Unfortunately, this did not spare Andrew, again forcing his family to seek safety in Poland. “It was not easy to leave Ukraine. When we left (Ukraine) and lived in Poland, we lived with nine people in one room. Although we were safe, I knew God had another plan for us.” shared Andrew.
While in Poland, he met Katy* an American woman volunteering to serve those fleeing war in Ukraine. “I thought it was by accident that we met her, but in fact it was very important.” Andrew had decided the best option was to move his family to the United States. Katy offered to be his sponsor so he and his family could go to the U.S.
Heading to the U.S. was not an easy journey. From Poland to Spain and Spain to Mexico where they lived for two months in a tent while awaiting trial authorization.“Living in a tent in Mexico was quite an experience,” Andrew shared jokingly. After a long wait, they eventually made it to Texas.
“I showed up to the U.S. with nothing. I just had to figure it all out,” Andrew shared. When they arrived in Dallas, Texas one of the volunteers from Mexico picked them up from the airport. Andrew then found World Relief North Texas and our program that assists with housing. He was unaware of the difficulties he would face finding somewhere to live, but World Relief North Texas stepped in and helped with housing, cash assistance, and furniture. He was touched when his caseworker, Luke English, found and delivered furniture for him and his family.
Andrew was able to secure a job with the help of Jordan, an employment coordinator at World Relief. Jordan assisted Andrew in building a resume and found a job at the airport. This new job brought the income he needed to support his family. With the help of World Relief North Texas he has been able to have a good start in the U.S.
A Bright Future
Andrew is hopeful for his future in the U.S. and desires to apply for citizenship. “I have a dream to become a pilot, and I believe I will have the opportunity to study and try to become a pilot. It is my passion to be in the air,”.
He believes they will have lots of opportunities here. He loves his children’s school, that they have the opportunity to thrive here, and watching his son play soccer. They are learning English at school, and he believes they will do an amazing job. “I encountered many difficulties and hardships, but I’m now in a good environment and I like it here. I know I am in a good country and I believe I will make it here.”
Andrew is a reminder of hope. Through him we can celebrate the achievements made by those who have risked everything to provide safety for their families. For Andrew, and so many others, it is the reality of knowing he “cannot go back to Ukraine because my home is no longer there, it is not a safe place, and there is no way for me to have a job and provide for my family there.” Andrew is an example of resilience and strength, and we can all learn from men like Andrew.
We can also pray for those like Andrew, who have been displaced worldwide.