EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Mark Vyvoda and his wife — Tory Schendel-Vyvoda — are sharing their story of missing relatives living in the Israel kibbutz Nir Oz and advocating for aid.
The couple were sitting in the audience at an Evansville Civic Theatre of Fiddler on the Roof when a message came from Mark’s brother saying his aunt and uncle were taken hostage by Hamas.
“You don’t really think about it until it happens to you that when grief strikes, it really hits home, and that’s when you perk up and you really understand ‘what have I been doing?’ Not much. Not much,” Vyvoda said.
Mark’s brother told him their aunt and uncle noticed Hamas firing into their neighborhood and settling blaze to the family’s surroundings. It is known as a common occurrence.
The uncle and aunt found a safe room when the fighting started, but some safe rooms are not entirely fireproof.
Hamas set fire to the aunt and uncle’s home, and Mark’s relatives were captured on the spot when they left the home.
Mark and Tory’s family still knows littler of the location and status of their relatives.
The couple’s health only adds to the concern since Mark’s uncle has lung disease and his aunt requires continuous oxygen.
“This type of act cannot happen again – and you know right or wrong — whatever political belief we have,” Vyvoda said. “It’s just absolute chaos — and no one is right, no one is wrong. I think everyone agrees that it’s complicated, but it’s complicated over history. It’s not complicated today; They are people; They are humans, and they’re murdering each other.”
Eyewitness News is told people are missing from Nir Oz, and the family says the conflict has been devastating.
“Despite the animosity and the complexities — I don’t understand how could this be occurring, but it’s here,” Schendel-Vyvoda said. “And I think it’s important that we do hold the government’s and the different systems in place accountable. Because the problem with this and the complexities, it’s going to add another series of systematic oppression is going to add another series of racism, and we might perpetuate this problem even more for another 50 years.”
An Amazon Wish List is live for those wishing to send supplies to Nir Oz.
Those wishing to donate money to Nir Oz may visit this site.
More from Ben Walls
- Vanderburgh County seeks bids for Veterans Memorial Coliseum improvement project
- Evansville civic leaders break ground on community kitchen
- Habitat for Humanity of Evansville partners with Ascension St. Vincent
- Spencer County community honors crash victim with bake sale, blood drive
- Thousands meet in downtown Evansville for “A Downtown Christmas”
Eyewitness News. Everywhere you are.