07 December 2022
07 Dec 2022

Living Advent in Ukraine

Sergei Babic is in the Donbass and as a medical student works in the emergency room. What does it mean to experience Advent and prepare for Christmas in Ukraine?

by  Sergio Rotasperti, scj

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Sergei, where are you now?

I am in the Donbass working in a field hospital with American doctors. We are the first point of contact for emergency first aid, primary surgery (amputations, stabilization of patients). Then we send the sick to other hospitals.

What is the situation like?

It is terrible here. Abandoned houses, destroyed schools, closed hospitals, very few people. We have problems with electricity and heating. You can see so much sadness among the people. Many are living without hope.

Advent in Ukraine: how?

For me as a Christian, everything the Holy Father said is the truth. The time we live is in darkness, in weakness, uncertainty, insecurity. We live in suffering, we encounter death every day. We see terrible things and it hurts us very much.

The Advent we have, began by showing me that in these days of darkness and gloom, our hearts seek light. Literally we live in darkness, because every day I feel the lack of electricity and heating. I can only imagine the circumstances in which our soldiers find themselves.  We understand now how much we need light, in every sense.

What is Christmas for you?

The light is the Lord, the child who is born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem means the house of bread. We need bread, the daily food, but also spiritual bread. Only this can give us hope, can give us the strength to survive to endure and overcome. Bread is the body of Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem. The bread is the prayers that support us from various parts of the world. The bread is the volunteers and doctors who come here to save us, to help us. I thank the Lord that I can also be here and help do something in this ugly war, so that it ends as soon as possible.

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