(Minghui.org) I am from the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine. In the early morning of February 24, 2022, I was awakened by the sounds of bursting shells. I thought that war must have broken out.

From Confusion to Finding Ways to Explain the Truth

From the first day, Russian troops began shelling Kharkiv’s infrastructure with all kinds of weapons and bombs. Almost immediately, the electricity in our area disappeared for a few days, and thus, there was no Internet or mobile communication. And, when the infrastructure came alive again, I learned that most of the Falun Gong practitioners of Kharkiv were evacuated from the city. This upset me more than anything else, it saddened me to tears. I was disappointed, that this friendly, active group had disappeared.

There was some confusion. I was not thinking to leave Kharkiv. But, I thought about what Master Li (Dafa’s founder) has asked us to do. We used to have usual daily activities in the city center, collecting signatures for ending the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecution, and how to do the three things when facing war conditions.

Master said, “…and no amount of upheaval in this world should be able to alter your mission as a Dafa disciple.” (“To the 2021 Dafa Conference in Taiwan”)

From the first day of the war, Kharkiv (which has 1.5 million inhabitants) was paralyzed. All businesses closed down, the traffic stopped, the subway was used as a bomb shelter, and stores were closed except for some grocery stores and pharmacies.

I had a few newspapers left with information about Dafa. I began going out onto the street, approaching the people in line at the drugstores, and telling them that there was a cultivation practice called Falun Gong that taught one to remain calm and healthy, without having to resort to medication. Newspapers were taken but without enthusiasm. People’s eyes were blank and lost.

After about two weeks, I learned that there were two Vietnamese practitioners in town who kept all of our informational materials. This encouraged me.

We started going out together and handing out newspapers. Kharkiv was under continuous shelling. The inhabitants of the city tried to sit in shelters and only went out in search of food. Not knowing how much time we still had ahead of us, every day on a slippery road in sub-zero temperatures we walked for four or five hours from queues in stores to queues for humanitarian aid, trying to give information about Dafa to as many people as possible.

Later, when it became clear that the war was dragging on, I decided to do the Falun Gong exercises outside, waiting for the opportunity to talk to more people. And they, as I said before, would only go out to buy food. So we were doing exercises in a place where there was a small market and several grocery stores.

New Situations - New Challenges and Tests

The Issue of Life and Death

Practitioners living in bombed cities face the question of life and death. As I said, Kharkiv was shelled almost nonstop. A shell could hit an apartmentor or a car or explode in the street, I held no real fear. I firmly believed that everything is predetermined. If I do the right thing, Master and the righteous Gods will protect me. So every day, in spite of the shelling, we went out to distribute newspapers and did the exercises. We just ignored the shells whizzing over our heads, and noticed where they hit.

Sense of Patriotism

I never had any special feelings about Ukrainian culture and country. But I began to notice that when I was talking about military events I did not say “Ukrainian troops”, but instead “our troops.” In other words, I identified myself with the Ukrainian nation. My patriotism manifested itself. It happened because I really wanted the Ukrainian troops to push the Russian troops back, and return to the environment that we had before the war.

Attachment to Comfort

I had a test of my attachment to comfort as well. But in my opinion, it was the easiest test. Periodically, because of the bombing of the infrastructure in our neighborhood, there was a power outage. There were no lights, no internet, refrigerators, and electric stoves did not work, that is, there was no way to cook food. Somehow there was no electricity for about two weeks. But I was not discouraged. Nor was it upsetting that the glass in the window was broken, and I had to cover it with oilcloth.

The Most Difficult Experience

Of course, during the war, I have a unique experience that I would not have had under any other circumstances. And, as I understand it, this experience will help me in the events that await us in the future.

Master said, “You’ve heard that in past prophecies it was said, “Only one thousand in ten thousand shall remain,” or “one household in ten,” right? A wide array of prophecies have told of such a thing.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XII)

The first shock for me was when people were killed by shells while waiting in line for humanitarian aid. Then reports of casualties began to appear regularly. Mentally, I understood that everything was predetermined, that karmic laws were at work. But, even practitioners get upset when they see their relatives being sick and dying, despite their understanding of predestination. And now a large number of people die, including children, for no apparent reason. It gets creepy. But, it must be accepted.

We all understand that in fixing the human world, there will be a large attrition rate. And I may have to walk alone in the future, without fellow practitioners, without their support and help, in a world that is falling apart, and look for people left behind who can still be helped by talking about Dafa.

Reflections on How to Explain Truth in a New Environment

At this time in human society, good and evil are confronting each other more and more sharply. And in this battle, every person must show his or her own position.

In order to help people make the right choice, I first had to understand the situation myself. While studying the Fa, I realized that wars happen according to heavenly signs. The only invariable criterion for evaluating everything that is going on is the principles of the universe – Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Many Ukrainians feel hatred toward Russians. I explain to people that we need to get rid of this feeling because it destroys us. We need to focus on our own actions and thoughts, to think about whether we are doing everything right, and why we are in this situation. I tell people about Falun Dafa, give them lotus flowers, and remind them that if you want to change the world, start with yourself.

Participating in the Shen Yun Event

Usually, when I want to inspire myself to improve more diligently, I read posts about Shen Yun's performances on the Minghui website. So when a practitioner called me and offered to go to Poland for a few days to help in hosting Shen Yun, I got excited.

At first, I was supposed to guard the buses. Perhaps that’s why I wasn’t told how to behave when meeting the artists of the show. But, as a result, I was stationed where the orchestra musicians passed by.

Several years ago I helped out in Kharkiv in the search for performers for the Shen Yun orchestra. I was in awe of the musicians and knew their faces from their photographs. So when I saw them in person, I couldn’t hold back my emotions.

The attachment to showing off manifests not only in the desire to demonstrate one’s understanding and knowledge but also in the desire to demonstrate one’s state of mind and feelings. When I saw the musicians, I obsessively showed them my joy, smiling and holding my hands in the Heshi position.

During the performance, the Shen Yun artists are on a mission to save people. And, I polluted them with my feelings. It’s good that I myself realized how wrong I was and tried to be more modest the next day.

Besides, during my participation in the Shen Yun preparations, my ignorance of the English language was a hindrance. Before the war, we in Kharkiv actively collected signatures calling for an end to the CCP’s persecution. And, since there were so many students from different countries in the city, it became necessary to learn English. And I began to learn it. But, with the beginning of the war, I stopped.

The fact that I didn’t speak English didn’t bother me as much as the organizers of Shen Yun’s performance. They were already very busy and they had to find an interpreter to communicate with me. I regret that I made it so difficult for them.

There are fewer communist factors in Poland than in Ukraine. It helped me to identify some of the biases associated with them, and I began to get rid of them.

How great that I have an opportunity to come to Poland again to participate in the conference and to continue to cultivate.

This is my understanding on today’s level. From the unexpected war, I began to understand that tomorrow the situation could change, I would then have a different experience and my understanding could also change.

Thank you, Master and fellow practitioners:

(Submitted to the 2022 European Fa Conference)