GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) — Alex Gowen has visited Ukraine for long periods of time since 2014, the year that his non-profit began. He said that during his most recent visit, he noticed several changes about the impact of the war on cities in Ukraine.

“The most noteworthy difference is that there was a great lack of continuous artillery fire than we experienced during war mission two, but there was a lot more missile attacks,” said Gowen, who lives in Greenville. “There was a great lack of power … There were no lights. None. And if there were some, it’s because they had a candle going or battery-powered light going.”

He said that despite the power outages and the extreme cold, people in Ukraine are still celebrating Christmas. They are attempting to maintain a sense of normalcy.

View the video for more information about Gowen’s experience in Ukraine.

Videos of Christmas activities were provided to WNCT by Gowen. Gowen worked with his mission assistant, Asya, and photographer and videographer, Alexey, to compile videos of the destruction of Ukrainian cities.