Dear Central Friends-
We are so pleased that our home on Three Mile is now filled with the
activities of a family of six from Ukraine. The parents are Mykhailo (Mike)
Lymarenko, his wife, Anastasiia, and children Tymofil (age 9), Mark (age 8), Ivanna
(age 6), and little Solomiia (age 2). Anastasiia’s parents and three sisters also traveled to
Traverse City and are currently living with two other Ukrainian families in the area.
Their efforts to get to the United States started back in 2007 when they
began applying for visas. Year after year they were denied, but they kept trying.
When it looked like the war was about to begin, they decided that they would
leave no matter what. On February 11, 2022, less than 2 weeks before Russia began
their invasion, the Lymarenko family left their home on the outskirts of Kiev,
loaded into two cars and began driving west. They drove for 57 hours nonstop,
praying that their cars would not break down. On February 14, they arrived in
Poland exhausted from the long drive. They stayed in Poland only a week
before they left for Sweden in the same two cars. They knew somebody they
could stay with and were able to get jobs and work for about 6 months in Sweden.
Finally, after receiving their visas, they left for the United States,
arriving in Traverse City at the end of August.
Meanwhile, back in Traverse City, Habitat volunteers were steadfastly
working on renovating the “Mosaic House” at the corner of Garfield
and Three Mile Roads. The team was able to move ahead with the
project with the approval of Central’s Congregation in the hopes
that when the right time came, we would be able to help someone.
It was really a leap of faith. Gratefully, by July, we were accepting
donations of furnishings for the house. Even though we still
didn’t know who we might find to live in the house, we just kept moving
Now that the Lymarenko family has settled into the home, I have been
able to meet with them and have been told again and again that being
offered the house was an answer to their prayers. And I thought……..
they were an answer to our prayers too.
Thank you to Central’s Congregation for your generosity
and your faithfulness to our vision,
Julie Falconer, chair
Central’s Board of Trustees
NOTE: At the time of this writing, Anastasiia’s parents and sisters are still
looking for a home in the Traverse City area. If you are aware of a home
that would suit 6 people for rent at a reasonable rate, please contact
Julie Falconer at 231-649-7745.