JEFFERSON CITY — Points along Vova Gorbenko’s journey to Jefferson City are marked with air raid sirens, explosions, bitter temperatures and a 20-hour drive under the cover of night.
The details sound much like they were ripped from a movie plot. But for Vova and his family, every turn, every mile and every step of their story has been real — very real.
Vova, his wife Marina, their 17-year-old son Andrei and 15-year-old daughter Katya, call Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine, home. One of the country’s largest cities with a population of more than 700,000, Zaporizhzhya is located in the southeastern part of the country — a few hours from Donetsk, and about six hours south of the country’s capital of Kiev.
It is where Vova worked as an academic dean at the local seminary and a minister at his church. It was where Marina served as a public-school teacher and where Andrei and Katya grew up with friends and went to school. It was home. [Read more…]