Story of visiting Kramatorsk, part 2

The countryside of fields and trees looks peaceful but after seeing the tank and the artillery you realize there’s probably many things hiding and waiting for their moment. As we entered Dobropillya a concussive explosion went off, I asked if that was artillery shooting but Tim said that we were to far from the front for artillery to be used. As we rounded a curve a plume of smoke was rising ahead so we knew it was incoming and the Russians were sending more rockets at these poor people. As we neared the town center and the railroad,which Tim thought was the target of the previous nights attack , another rocket exploded. It’s just an instant concussive blast. Almost more felt than heard. The shock wave rattles your head and chest and it’s over by the time you register it’s happening. That one felt as close as I care to experience and afterwards Tim estimated it at 300 meters away. Can’t imagine having them hit your house in the night! It’s been over 24 hours ago and in the quiet times I still have ringing in my ears.
Today the boys went back to finish their churchyard project and Tim and I took another load way east to Bakhmut. Around 30 km from the line. The eastern line is considered very “hard” as they’ve been fighting in the east since 2014 I think. We had another answer to prayer this forenoon. We were fueling at a terribly crowded station and he went to move ahead a few feet right at the pump and the key didn’t turn the van on,just some clicking. He tried numerous times and popped the hood and then went to try to get help in the station. I looked under the hood to see if the battery connection was loose but the battery isn’t stored up there. I started praying and tried the key and realized that the key didn’t even turn. It just made clicking sounds when you put it in. Tried the shifter, brake, key several times and kept praying and suddenly it started. I ran to the station and told him to come it’s running. After we got on the road he says so did you figure out what was wrong? I said that I just tried it and when it didn’t turn I kept praying and it turned and started. He gave a little grin and said I thought so. Lots of military men, equipment, checkpoints and piles of dirt in the road to make you zigzag and drive slower all up the east to Bakhmut. We arrived at the church and unloaded the supplies to 2 men and a lady. Afterwards we had a simple meal of potato soup with chicken in it, bread and after you eat all the soup she put lentils in your bowl. Simple yet good! Tea was served afterwards while they told Tim about how they came to their (Baptist) church. One man went through the rehab program for alcoholism and got converted after, and the lady was a feng shui practitioner. She met a man who she said was “shining “, she followed him to the church , tried to get him away from it but he drew her to the church! That’s how she met her husband and converted to Christianity. It was a peaceful lunch outside under a carport roof with the constant rumble of artillery strikes from different directions. It sounds like a thunderstorm coming and no one ever bats an eye. They do sleep in the basement of the church and most all of the youth have left for safer places. But they said now instead of it being mostly youth and the rehabilitated coming to church even the people who used to be wealthy now come for service so they can get food boxes and so the war brings more people to the churches. We said prayer together and goodbyes and left. As we drove off the smoke from an artillery strike was rising on the west side of the road just over a rise so we couldn’t see what was burning. Back through towns with some shelled out buildings, one town with gorgeous roses lining blocks of roadside and filling up the center of the traffic circle all carefully groomed and weeded. Through another city where we heard 2 explosions that Tim deemed anti aircraft missiles doing their job until we saw the cloud of smoke rising up from the ground (rockets again).
At one checkpoint when they heard we were headed back to Dnipro, a soldier( tank driver) jumped in to get home for his 10 day leave. Back home to meet the guys for dinner. Tired but I’m really enjoying the adventure of Ukraine. I love meeting some of these people. It’s interesting, inspiring and God is good!