Heading to Ukraine
Pastor Mervin Strothers and I are currently heading into Ukraine. We will be meeting with the pastors and leaders of our food and supplies distribution centers deep in Ukraine. Please pray for our safe passage.
Thousands are depending on the food and basic humanitarian supplies that are being distributed by our network of centers and partners there. The challenges these leaders are facing is something that is hard for us to relate to. Like: How much food does each person get? How do they determine the quantity and breakdown of particular food items? Do they hold some back and try to save it in case there is no more?
We are not talking about inconsequential things here. Every decision has a face that goes with it. Telling moms with small kids to come back tomorrow with the hope that more food will arrive is the kind of thing they are faced with everyday.
You have heard the expression, “Out of sight, out of mind.” That’s the greatest fear they face. With the war no longer on the front page, the stories and awareness of the on-going suffering of people just like you and me, who just want to live and take care of their children, are no longer on a lot of people’s minds. As members of the body of Christ, the reality of when “one member suffers, we all suffer” is a pain we must embrace.
As I got ready to leave, I had to not only prepare myself spiritually to be discerning and strategic, but for the emotional impact from what I will witness. Honestly, there are times I’d just like to blank this out, just sing a little louder and make it go away. The greatest encouragement we will offer them is that they will not be forgotten–even when it’s painful to think about.
We will spend our first day in Romania going over our food purchasing strategy with our Romanian partners that are doing a great job. Are there other vendors? What if we commit to certain suppliers for defined quantities and products? Prices are shooting up here, up about 20% since March, as this crisis is affecting the whole food chain and supply in Europe.
It is important to understand that there are no government food supplies that anyone on the ground has seen. I ask that question every time I speak with them. Organizations like the Red Cross deem it to be too dangerous. It’s been the Church and some humanitarian organizations that are doing the job.
After Romania, we will then meet with the Ukrainian leaders who are very much in need of assurance that we will not forget about them either.
Every dollar we receive goes directly to aid. We are using donated miles to pay for our airline tickets. Any other expenses we have, which will be modest because we will be staying with people, are covered independently. We are inspired by the sacrificial stories we have heard by those who are giving generously to this righteous cause. Thank you!!
While this catastrophe is certainly a test of survival for our brothers and sisters in Christ there, make no mistake that it is also a test for us here as well. I want to pass that test!
I’ll be updating as much as I can while I’m there.
Pray for favor with food suppliers. Pray for wisdom on how to help and encourage those who are battling hopelessness. Pray for our safety and the safety of the food convoys coming from Romania. Pray for yourself, that you will have the courage to be generous.
We will make this history His-Story!
In the Master’s Service,
NRP Team Leader