Not long after Sergie and Alana came to Israel, Alana suffered a serious brain haemorrhage. This was more than twenty years ago. The Homecare team helped them daily, but Alana is completely dependent on help; most hours of the day she lies in bed.
All these years Sergei has taken care of her. He says: “If it had been the other way around, she would have done it for me.” His faithfulness to Alana with so much love is a powerful example to us. A quiet hero. Since moving to northern Israel to live with their daughter and her family Homecare keep in touch, and visit them a few times a year.
On one such visit, the beautiful and fragile porcelain coffee cups he laid out, led him to tell his story. “My brother bought these for my mother when he took a trip; they are perhaps seventy years old. We drink from these cups on special occasions, with family.” A great compliment, Homecare has become family, the visit is worthy of these special cups.
The cups are the reason that Sergei tells his story today. He was a boy of six years old and his father was fighting on the front lines. One day someone knocked on the door very hard. Soldiers stood by the door demanding his very young mother: “Take the papers for you and the boy, nothing else. In ten minutes you have to leave, otherwise you will be killed.” They left in an open cattle car full of other Jewish families, constantly in fear that something terrible would happen as they travelled. It was a difficult journey of one hundred and thirty kilometres that took them many days, arriving in Siberia. The winters were cold, and his mother had to work in a factory to make a living. It is not easy for him to tell the story, as it still seems like it happened yesterday.
The silence is tangible as he ends his story. The cups are testimony to his survival.