Gladewater native living in Ukraine finds refuge in Poland, while husband remains in Ukraine

East Texas native on being apart from husband: ‘It’s not been easy’
Gladewater native living in Ukraine finds refuge in Poland
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2022 at 7:40 PM CDT
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POLAND (KLTV) - An East Texas native is among the Ukrainians finding refuge in Poland.

Mission work took Gladewater native Amanda Gage-Fetisova to Ukraine, where she has now lived for 15 years. About three weeks ago, Fetisova left her city of Kryvyi Rih in south-central Ukraine to board a train headed for Poland.

“I evacuated with 45 women and children from our church,” she said in an interview via Zoom.

Fetisova and her Ukrainian husband of five years, Max, pastor a church in Ukraine. Her husband also serves as the director of an organization that works with orphans.

Amanda and Max celebrated their 5th Ukrainian anniversary on March 25, 2022. They were married...
Amanda and Max celebrated their 5th Ukrainian anniversary on March 25, 2022. They were married in both America and Ukraine.(Courtesy photo)

“I grew up going to church at First Assembly of God in Gladewater,” she said. “I loved God and wanted to serve Him, and dedicate my life to helping others.”

With Russia’s attacks getting closer to their home and knowing civilians were being targeted, the East Texas native made the difficult decision to board a train headed for Poland along with women and children from their church.

“We quickly made the decision within a day,” she said. “And we got on a train with backpacks.”

An image captured by Amanda Fetisova shows crowds of people waiting to board trains headed for...
An image captured by Amanda Fetisova shows crowds of people waiting to board trains headed for Poland.(Courtesy photo)

And while Amanda left for Poland, her husband stayed behind in Ukraine.

“It’s not been easy. We call each other and text each other pretty much every day. But we have been busy. He’s serving the community there. And I’m here in Poland for now, trying to help the women that we’ve evacuated and then others that we’ve met along the way.”

Max Fetisov is seen at the 'single moms dorm' in a photo posted on March 29, 2022.
Max Fetisov is seen at the 'single moms dorm' in a photo posted on March 29, 2022.(Courtesy photo)

The center the couple runs back in Ukraine is now a bomb shelter that’s also housing refugees from other Ukrainian cities.

Fetisova said their city is safe for now, but Ukrainian troops are fighting very hard to keep it that way.

“Russian troops are just miles away, so every night there’s a firefight. But we just continue to pray and believe that God’s going to protect our city and our families that are still there.”

Fetisova said she’s received messages and prayers from many East Texans since the start of the war, and has shared those messages of hope and support with those facing uncertainty.

To learn more about the couple’s organization and to donate, click here.

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