Stories

If the Snipers Like You, They'll Let You Go

Two days prior, they had heard the news: the separatists had taken Sloviansk and Lysychansk, just ten kilometers away. But they continued living their lives. Like every day before, Mila walked to work. She quickened her pace when she realized men in fatigues carrying assault rifles walked through the nearby park. She arrived at the hospital, afraid of what the day would hold, but carried out her nursing duties as […]

The Body and the Blood: Communion in a War Zone

We crowd around a table that is too large for the entryway-turned-dining-room of the community center in which we find ourselves. Like many social institutions in Kiev, this one has been converted into a shelter for families fleeing the war in Eastern Ukraine. Some families fit into a single room, while others occupy rows and rows of bunk beds in a large common hall, blankets draped over the bunks to […]

They Embody Possibility

They receive no monthly stipend, no rent support, no food packages. They cannot work, they cannot go back to Syria, they cannot go back to Palestine. Without the right paperwork, they cannot get into the already long slow line to leave the Middle East for opportunity elsewhere. Most Western nations are accepting only a handful of the 3 million refugees from Syria anyway. Impossible. It is an impossible situation.

Born in Terror, Living in Trauma

“She is at home,” her mother-in-law reminds her. I am separated from my daughter and they are bombing outside, tears roll down her cheeks. Another contraction seizes her body just as another bomb explodes and terror and pain envelope her again. Her womb fights to give birth to the child within, but her terrified body fights to keep him safely inside.

Landslides, Summits and the Slavery of Death: Part II

We set off with headlamps on our heads, bundled in all of our layers, wool hats, muffs around our necks, and knockoff North Face and Mountain Hardware mittens covering our hands and half our arms. For the first time on this trek, we pulled the rubber caps off our poles, exposing metal tips, and screwed round, plastic saucers 3 inches from the bottom of the pole to keep it from sinking deeper into the snow.