Latter-day Saint in Ukraine expresses gratitude for food storage


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KYIV, Ukraine — It has been a month since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints evacuated missionaries from Ukraine, but the church has members in each of the areas affected by the war.

Andre Zinkovski says joining the church has blessed his life, but now, following certain teachings is saving his life as war unfolds outside his front door.

"Last night was the most terrifying night," Zinkovski said Sunday.

Explosions echoed throughout the night — some so close the walls would tremble.

"You never know what will shoot you next minute. You never know when this bomb will fall. Will it, you know, hit your roof?" Zinkovski said. "I consider myself lucky tonight because my windows are still intact, but some people had to leave their place because there were no windows, no walls, no houses anymore. It was scary."

On Sunday afternoon, the streets outside Zinkovski's home were empty, and so were the shelves at all the nearby grocery stores.

"For the past four days, the scripture, 'If you prepare, you shall not fear,' just comes up to my mind," Zinkovski said.

Twenty-three years ago, Zinkovski and his mother joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ever since, his family has been slowly but surely preparing every needful thing.

"I never thought we would use it, but we had this food, and my mom would say, 'You need to go get some food for my food storage,'" Zinkovski said.

Dedication to preparedness is now keeping Zinkovski and his neighbors alive.

"We've been blessed by this, and I'm so grateful that we have our church leaders who teach us that we need to do this, and I couldn't be more helpful than at these times. And I'm blessed to help other people because of this; we have plenty of food for ourselves," Zinkovski said.

That preparation has helped him pack and share food with those in his branch, and even his next door neighbors.

Zinkovski and his family don't know what's next.

"We have two backpacks ready with water, with medicine, money and our documents just ready to go. We're ready to leave. I don't know where or how, but you don't know when they're going to shoot you," Zinkovski said.

He finds peace knowing his brothers and sisters half a world away are praying for him.

"I've seen some stories of people gathering in Utah just to support people here in Ukraine. This was so touching and so strong. This means a lot. I know it doesn't help us physically, but it sure helps us mentally to know that people are standing with us," he said.

Zinkovski is collecting donations through Venmo to help those around him. A woman from Utah who served her mission in Ukraine (Venmo @MichellePearson)* is gathering the funds for him at this time.

A local business, the Plastics Clinic, is matching any donations up to $10,000 if you screenshot your Venmo transaction.

You can find more information here.

*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Kiersten Nuñez
Kiersten Nuñez is a reporter for KSL-TV. Prior to joining the KSL team in 2022, she spent several years working as a multimedia journalist in the Salt Lake City area.

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