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Ukrainian refugee to speak in Marble Falls

Sofia Kedruk

Sofia Kedruk is a Ukrainian missionary who left Ukraine for Poland three days into the Russian invasion. She will be speaking at Lake Shores Church in Marble Falls on Thursday, June 16. Courtesy photo

Sofia Kedruk fled her home country of Ukraine for Poland three days after the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

“We didn’t expect it,” said the 28-year-old refugee. “We heard from the news that it would happen, but we didn’t believe them. We really believed nothing would happen. We weren’t prepared for it.”

The Campus Crusade for Christ missionary will speak about her experiences at Lake Shores Church in Marble Falls on Thursday, June 16, at 7 p.m. The church is located at 700 U.S. 281.

The event is open to the community, said church elders Tom Rapp and Bob Rogers, who were guests on the KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune morning show June 14

“She will be sharing her firsthand experiences,” Rapp said. “She has managed to keep her ministry going with her team.” 

Kedruk spoke with DailyTrib.com on June 13 to talk about those experiences, explaining that, when she left Ukraine, she also left behind several family members in a town near Lviv. Kedruk worries about their safety, even though the city is said to be under Ukrainian control.

“Last night (June 12), Russian forces put bombs and rockets in the western city of Lviv, where some of my family is,” Kedruk told DailyTrib.com. “There is nothing special in that city. There are no army bases or anything. I don’t know why. I guess to scare them.”

Kedruk struggles to understand why Russian President Vladimir Putin  invaded Ukraine in the first place. In her mind, she sees it as an act of envy, jealousy, and control.

“We have different versions of their reasons to come and fight with us,” Kedruk said. “As I see it, Ukraine has grown so fast and become better than them. We have become closer to the European Union and grown away from Russia, yet they still want to control (former Soviet Union) countries.”

Before the war, Kedruk obtained her master’s degree in oil and gas  chemistry in Lviv. Now, she lives in Austin with her sister, her only other family member to leave Ukraine.

“America is much safer than Ukraine, so I really like it,” Kedruk said with a laugh. “They are very nice people. They’re very kind and friendly. They want to help and are supportive of Ukraine.”

While Kedruk is enjoying her time in America, she misses home. Before coming to Austin, she lived with several different families in Houston. One of these families had a Ukrainian neighbor who made her Ukrainian-style bread.

“Americans don’t have bread like we do,” Kedruk said. “He made this awesome homemade bread, and it was great.”

Kedruk became a Campus Crusade for Christ missionary during in her second year of university. She learned English through the program.

“We do lots of different projects at campuses and universities,” Kedruk said. “Our main goal is to witness to these students and build them as disciples of Christ.”

She hopes her story during the Lake Shores event encourages people to help her native country.

“There are lots of different opportunities to help Ukraine,” Kedruk said. “If you have the opportunity to donate, that’s great. If not, just pray.”

nathan@thepicayune.com