We Stand with Ukraine | Anya Bergland (Аня Ястремська)

A special thanks to Matt Moberg who drew a depiction of Mama Barabash of Ukraine on the first day of war. Katya Barabash, has a special place in the hearts of the Moberg family and would regularly host Matt, his brothers and his mom, Tami, on a number of mission trips, starting in 2000.

There probably hasn’t been a day during the past six weeks that you wouldn’t have read some terrifying story about the #war and the devastating events in #Ukraine. It was unexpected, tragic, and unfair.

Millions overpowered by fear, terror, and uncertainty have fled the country, and many chose to stay and defend their language, freedoms, democracy, and their beloved homeland of Ukraine.

Many of you now know the names of our cities, can read our map, and, without a doubt, know our flag’s colors. Thank you for following the events, praying, taking the time to send messages and calls, financially supporting, and faithfully standing with our country.

This is where Ukraine got it's colors for our flag

International brands have shown up in remarkable ways—some subtle yet prominent and others outright powerful. So thank you, Elon Musk, from Tesla, for turning on the internet for Ukraine at a critical moment, Western Union for removing transfer fees, and Canada for creating an authorization for emergency travel.

Everywhere I look, I see my flag attached to social media profiles, flown alongside business trademarks, and “We Stand with Ukraine” banners draped outside various businesses.

We are grateful, and we wouldn’t have been able to make it this far without you. Every time the bell tolls, it tolls for thee because none of us stands alone in this world, and each human death affects all of us.

I was born and raised in Ukraine and received my undergraduate degree there. I moved to Minneapolis in 2010 when I awarded a full scholarship to complete my Master’s program at Bethel University.

 Kyiv, capital of Ukraine

It was quite a transition to leave the European lifestyle and move to the midwest, but God has been good to me. After I graduated, God led me to World Relief, that later became Arrive Ministries in Minnesota, where I worked for seven years with refugees moving to Minnesota because they were fleeing their war-torn nations.

Most of my clients were from East Africa, South East Asia, and the Middle East. I visited their countries, learned some phrases in their languages, ate their food, and I was able to serve them well.

I knew my job, and I could relate to people. My heart was indeed in it.

However, in February, for the first time, when I heard about “refugees from Ukraine” on TV, I experienced this deep sense of devastation and helplessness. Now, it was my people who were desperate and needed to run, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

My husband Noah and I call my parents every day. They are an hour away from the capital (Kyiv), and luckily, their town hasn’t been assaulted by missiles or bombs.

My dad was a career military; after graduating from the Academy, he was in Anti-Air Defense. After retiring in his early 40s, he went back to school, graduated from the seminary, and pastors an evangelical church in his town.

Strong Tower Church Igor and Sveta

It is a beautiful place, and my parents are very passionate about their ministry. Also, my dad remains influential with his former colleagues, and he is a respected man in many communities.

Since the beginning of this horrific war, many of my Bethel and church friends have shown tremendous support and generosity! Thank you, all!

Strong Tower Church community

Your giving hearts allowed my dad and his team to buy a lot of medical supplies for wounded soldiers and fix many units of military equipment that were sent back to the battlefield. In addition, water purifying systems have been installed to guarantee clean water to military personnel and civilians.

water filters

Women and children who stayed are finding ways to show up for Ukraine and play a part in winning this war. They make meals and drive them to active military staff.

Other community members are weaving camouflage nets and making homemade bulletproof vests.

baking for the soldiers in Ukraine

My dad can’t share any specific details or pictures yet, but I will surely make them available once it’s safe! These are the needs we never knew would emerge, but that is a sad reality in Ukraine.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! For prayers, phone calls, messages, dinners, and financial support! I pray the Lord blesses you and your families in every way and gives you favor!

We are currently working on a process through this platform to allow donations to continue assisting efforts in Ukraine.

Also, make sure to check out the c2s shop for r2r swag where a portion of the proceeds will be sent to Ukraine!

Unisex Hooded (Olive) Sweatshirt with R2R logo

Women’s (White) Cut Hooded Sweatshirt with R2R logo

Unisex Hooded (White) Sweatshirt with R2R logo

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2 years ago

Beautiful post honey, I love you and am feeling so blessed for what God has done in my life. #highlyfavored

2 years ago

We read the news, watch coverage on TV and scroll through short videos on Reddit. But we miss the personal side of the war; the human condition and the way war touches individuals even thousands of miles away. Thank you for sharing your experience.

2 years ago
Reply to  Brandon

Thank you so much, Brandon, for reading and sending love to my wife’s home country. I appreciate your friendship!

Ellen Dworak
2 years ago

Dearest Anya,
I am so thankful for you in our lives and from that first trip we took to Ukraine. You were a delight to have in my first small group and through the years have seen such passion, growth, love and perseverance. Your many acts of kindness show God’s kingdom right here as you serve many hurting people from different parts of the world. And now, we all lift up Ukraine and many of us know how precious your country is. We love you and continue to pray for peace and for Ukrainians to be able to go home and start over with their lives.
Sending lots of love,

2 years ago
Reply to  Ellen Dworak

Well now I’m crying, thank you so much, Ellen, Anya is a remarkable woman and I’m thankful to have her in my life. May God bless you and shine His light on you!


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