Our plan this morning was simple, we had a contact in Siret Romania, so it was up early and get across from Hungary to Romania as quickly as possible. All that stood in our way was the Carpathian mountains and the Romanian border police.

When we reached the border we were asked for the car’s log book and MoT, we had neither. We were told we cannot enter the country without the correct paperwork so Alan said ,” okay, we will just turn round and go back” The border police insisted, ” you cannot enter”. Then something amazing happened, another officer came and photographed the chassis number of the car, they checked the computer and waved us through.

Next we had to traverse the mountains which made a 4 hour trip twice as long. At one point the snow was about 2 feet deep each side of the road.

Fire Brigades from all over the country transporting people

We arrived In Siret in the late afternoon where we met our new Romanian friend pastor Liviu. He and his church were among the first to respond when war first broke out. They served and ministered to a queue of people that was 7 kilometres long in sub zero temperatures and in open fields. Their church has a homeless shelter that they repurposed to become a refugee centre.

Temporary shelter in Siret
Alan , Liviu, Mike and Vitalik

The crossing here is much busier. With about 1000 people a day crossing and a host of organisations helping out. Including the fire brigade from most major towns, a Jewish aid agency, who were first to set up at the border, a local churches collaboration and the Red Cross plus others.

The Jewish aid agency. Now mostly staffed by local Christians including the church youth group
Ukrainian women at the border
A Mum with two children really glad to sit and eat something
When you see these images on the news it’s different to when these precious souls brush passed you!
The border crossing into Ukraine

This evening we mostly encouraged those who have been heroically volunteering at the border, chatting and praying with those we met.

Mike praying with Vitalik, (a Ukrainian helping with translation and missing his wife and little girl)

Tomorrow we will serve where needed as a second wave of refugees is expected at any moment, made up of people fleeing the war in the east.