The word YES can open and close so many doors and experiences. When Br John asked me to join him and Br Leopold on a trip to rebuild bombed houses in the Ukraine my immediate response was YES. So I sit here with the preparation for the trip being made with my mind racing with what my YES will bring. Last Sunday we had a video meeting with the organisation who we will be joining in the Ukraine. We saw the damage caused by the war and the people working there to repair the homes of those remaining. My YES began to feel very real. In the week we received a considerable donation that will enable us to travel to the Ukraine. This amazing news brought with it the realisation that we were able to really go. The news from the Ukraine this week has detailed how missile and drone strikes have targeted domestic power supplies resulting in power cuts and outages. As the weather turns colder and the days get darker this will undoubtedly bring greater hardship for those who remain.
Now that the siege of the city had been entirely lifted, the main bridges repaired, and the frontline has stabilised at some 500 kilometers to the East, Chernihiv is busy healing the wounds and moving forward. Second half of July, I teamed up with Bo mozhemo or “Because we can”. It is a thriving association of local volunteers who are providing their know-how, energy and time to help poor families clean up the ruins of their homes and provide them with decent accommodation before winter comes. Every day they single out one or two sites and work patiently and tirelessly between 4 and 10 hours to sort the rubble, fix what is still fixable and plant the foundation of new homes. You certainly breathe a lot of dust and ashes here but still more joy, dynamism and solidarity. And from the side of the affected families, who host the activities, it is sheer determination to start over again. Could this be the real victory, a visible sign of the Risen Christ acting in the world? In my Father&