In usual times, Hana’s House serves as a place of prayer, retreat, rest, and community for missionaries and for families with disabled children. Recently, it has become a house of hospitality for refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The first family that came from Ukraine spent two days at Hana’s house and then left for Poland where they had friends with whom they could stay. Soon after, Hana (LCI 2003-3004) received a call at midnight asking if she could take in another family from the border. She said, “It was my first time making soup at 1am.” This family was the first one she received that had nowhere to go. Hana reflected, “My mission is to receive a family, have them stay for a few days, and then help them find a way to stand on their own.” So Hana did not just send them on their way, but helped them find an apartment and assisted them at the government office to get refugee status.
Hana knows that this is only the beginning, and that more families will be coming very soon. She is ready and open for them saying, “This house has to be a home for people.” This mission for Hana is not about converting people, but about showing the Father’s love to all. The majority of Ukrainians are Orthodox, and Hana has also helped a Muslim family fleeing the current war. But Hana says, “We all pray.”
Because of Covid-19, Hana had been unable to house people since 2020, but, providentially, a few weeks before the Ukrainian refugee crisis, Slovakia opened up enough for her to host people once again. Hana knows that this is her mission now: helping those suffering and running away from war. “It is a hard mission,” She said. “For the first couple days I was in tears, because I have spent a lot of time in Ukraine and have many friends there. But I decided to stop watching so much news since it causes only fear and anxiety.” Hana knew the only thing she could do was: “pray and be ready to help as much as possible.”
Even in the midst of this tragic situation, Hana has been filled with hope. Speaking about her recent time at the Ukrainian border she said, “During covid, we saw people become hateful. But now, I see that even in this horrible situation, people are sharing love. It restores faith in humanity to see the goodness in our human hearts.” Through all the uncertainty, Hana knows that God is at work. She says, “God is calling us to prayer through fear and anxiety.” She mentioned that even Slovaks in her region are packing in case something happens. “We have fear, but through prayer and God, we are not afraid of the fear.”
She is so grateful to every person who gives every little amount to help our brothers and sisters who are in need.
Hana was especially vocal in her gratitude to God for the support of LCI and the LCI family. “When people ask me how to help my mission, I say, ‘Support LCI.’” It is because of LCI that people from all over the world can directly support Hana’s House and other LCI alumni giving humanitarian aid to those affected by the war. Hana believes that LCI is God’s providence in a time like this. “The role of LCI in this situation is huge.” She explains saying, “Because of LCI we know exactly the people we help, their name, who they are.” It is personal and real.
It was incredibly inspiring and encouraging to talk with Hana about her mission. Jesus said “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me (Mt 25:40).” Hana is truly living out this call to love. Let us join her through our generosity and prayers!
By Grace Lawler