Today, one week after the horrible tragedy I would like to share with you two letters from two Ukrainian ladies -- Ludmila. and Marina. Both ladies are single EI clients, both are Ukrainians. The difference between them is that Ludmila lives in the USA, close to Washington DC. while Marina lives in Kiev, Ukraine.
Ludmila wrote: "I learnt about the attacks from the radio when I was driving to work. I could not believe the news and suspected it was a misinformation. When I arrived to work I saw people gathered around a big TV screen. It was devastating and unbelievable. Moments later we learned Pentagon was attacked. Very soon we saw a dark endless smoke in the air (coming from the Pentagon).
My boss made me stay at the meeting until 6pm that day. I could not concentrate. I was thinking about people in NY and Washington DC, my life (thanking God I was relatively safe where I was), and those I love including my daughter Lilly. I just wanted to be with her and hold her... At that time I didn't know what may be next...
At night I called my mother in Ukraine letting her know we are OK. She started to cry when she heard my voice. We both cried and prayed together. By that time her church had already had an emergency prayer meeting where they prayed for America, and those who they knew here. She kept saying "God is in control, I pray for you all. Everything will be OK."
Next morning I woke up to the sound of the airplane flying above my house. I knew the airports were closed at that moment. The sounds of flying air career made me feel uncomfortable. I felt grief, shock, unbelief, frustration, and the power of the Mighty God. He was with me and I knew He was still in control.
Yesterday night, I rushed to my church prayer meeting. We prayed for missing and deceased as well as their families, for rescue teams, for President Bush and all those who hold any position of the authority, we prayed for the nation. We also prayed for those who planned and executed the attack and their families. It was hard...I had to stretch myself to be able to forgive them because deep inside I felt a lot of hate towards them. However, those people do need our prayer. They are so misguided and confused...I let my frustration and grief go and trusted the whole situation to God. I also realized that the world and America would never be the same again. I just hope we learn everything God wants us to learn from this horrible incident.
Today is another day. There is a bomb scare at the Pentagon. Buildings and structures of Manhattan are very unstable.. People displayed American flags on their houses and cars. There is an electronic message board saying 'GOD BLESS AMERICA' on highway 95.
I love this country! It is a very sad time for America. We all pray.
Marina wrote: " We are all here in total shock! I understand that words can't convey the feelings. When I close my eyes, I can only see the terrible pictures: the pictures of fire, destroyed buildings, scared faces... I seem to watch a scary movie or to have a nightmare. I want you to know that all the terrible events in the USA on Black Tuesday are the big grief for all Ukrainians. Please accept our sincere condolences.
A lot of people go to the American Embassy to put the flowers and to light candles. Believe it or not, we now feel the same as it was in May 1985 after Chernobyl explosion: sadness, horror, dismay and anxiety.
My mother will be sixty tomorrow. We invited guests, but after yesterday's events we can't think of a celebration. It is impossible when thousands of people are suffering, so we cancelled the party.
Please let me know that you are OK as soon as possible. Marina."
Like the rest of America, we at Encounters International try to resume our normal life and keep the schedule of the events intact. Our Saturday Club social will be held at 6 pm, Saturday, September 29 at 8527 Howell Road West, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.