Lately, our ministry efforts have turned from evacuating orphans to providing humanitarian aid for starving civilians and giving life-saving medical help to soldiers defending Ukraine. In these stressful and emotion encounters, for sure, there are many tears. Apart from describing the horrors that most soldiers have seen on the battlefield, in the village square and in the wheat fields, do you know what really makes a grown man cry? A first aid kit.
When Lena handed one to a soldier, he literally broke down and cried. Probably tears of relief, sadness and even joy – to receive one of our jam-packed First Aid Kits from America!
We have also received letters from grateful mothers of soldiers. This one says, “Glory to Ukraine! My name is Luba. I am the mother of a soldier. I want to thank the Evangelical Church for sending food, medications and other things to my son and his friends who serve in Dnipro area close to Kherson and Mykholaiv. I am an Orthodox Christian, but I think in this difficult time we should all stay united. I can’t tell you my son’s name, but I am giving you my name and address. Thank you again! Glory to the nation! We are united!”
More First Aid Kits and Medical Supplies will soon be on the way to Ukraine! With your financial donations, those that shop from our Amazon Wish List, and from the generosity of a pharmacist who donated tons of medicines & hospital supplies we will soon have 6 more super-sized duffels ready to go to Ukraine. If we could, we would buy these items in either Ukraine – or even in neighboring countries but supplies like this are not to be found overseas. We have to collect these lifesavers, pack them up, bring them overseas ourselves, and then put them into the hands of our own volunteers who will further deliver them to the Ukrainians who need them.
We also received a handwritten note recently from the military in the hard hit Sumy region. The sergeant writes, “Glory to Ukraine! Thank you very much to the Evangelical church for sending 1 big box of athletic shoes that was handed out to soldiers. We also need larger shoes of sizes 42, 43, 44 and 45 and dark clothes of big sizes. Thank you! First sergeant of 3d of 32 MB, Black Zaporizhian Cossacks, Sumy region.” And nearly ALL the soldiers we have met, have asked us for BULLETPROOF VESTS.
We are not shy. For the past 30 years, we have asked people for money, musical instruments, underwear, cars, feminine products… all kinds of things! But this is the first time we have asked people to donate bulletproof vests. Hopefully it will also be the last. Until then, if you have one laying around collecting dust, please consider sending it to us – we will take it to Ukraine, put it on a soldier and possibly save a life. We recently sent money to buy 4 vests in Ukraine – they came from Germany and were between $400-$500 each. They were for one of our orphan graduates who joined the navy after aging-out of the orphanage. His naval unit of four 19-year-olds had already been on the front lines fighting, but without vests or even helmets. Although the Ukrainian military is much better off than it was in 2014 when russia invaded the first time, even today many soldiers (especially young ones) do not have protective gear to wear. So, if you have a bulletproof vest (plate carrier) please consider donating it to Hope Now today.
Unfortunately, and especially during a war, funerals still need to take place. With inflation at an all-time high, everything costs more money these days. We were able to help this poor family bury their loved one, who recently passed away as a result of a combination of increased stress and complications of high blood pressure (medicine ran out). They sent us this note, “Please accept our sincere gratitude for the financial assistance of UAH 2,000 (about $70) that you provided to our family during the difficult time and on the sad day of the loss of our father. These funds helped us with the funeral expenses. Thank you for your help, God bless you.”