It breaks my heart to see the devastating effects of the conflict raging in Ukraine. However, for Ukraine, this has been par for the course over the last hundred years. Ukraine in the last century has been through so much war, famine, oppression and disasters it could rival any nation on the planet.
Please pray for Ukraine, that God would bring resolution to the conflict in the East and bring healing to the great divide between the people of Ukraine. I am very thankful that my visa application was approved and I should be receiving my visa in the mail any day now. I still have to apply for residency when I arrive in Ukraine, but this was a big step!
I’m writing this blog post because I want to share what our hope is for this year. With the battle raging on in the East and the economy of Ukraine struggling we know there are a lot of needs right now. Around 13,000 people have been wounded in the war. Many elderly people remain in the eastern war zones because they cannot leave. They don’t have families to whom they can go.
We know there is a great need for wheelchairs, walkers, canes and more in the east. Our hope for this year is to be able to meet those needs and begin distributing wheelchairs to the east of Ukraine. Churches in the East will send us people whom we will train how to size people for wheelchairs and access what their needs are. We would then provide the wheelchairs for them to distribute to people in need.
The problem is we simply don’t have the wheelchairs right now. We were expecting a large shipment of wheelchairs from the Rotary Club but they will not be sent until 2016. We need wheelchairs now. A shipment of 320 wheelchairs from the factory we work with in China costs around $28,600 dollars door to door. We’ve worked with them before, they provide wheelchairs designed for the rougher terrain that is Ukraine. We’re talking about a lack of sidewalks and many roads in horrible condition. They are also easy to repair in our factor when the time comes.
We also have been donated 200 free used wheelchairs from Iowa that we simply need to pay to ship to Ukraine. This will cost around $7,000. Right now I’m calling different churches seeing if they would be willing to jointly sponsor an order of wheelchairs so we can begin to reach the eastern part of Ukraine. If you know any churches that would be interested or any people who would be willing to help sponsor these wheelchairs please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m very excited to be coming to Iowa soon. I will be preaching at Ascension Waterloo March 1st and at Prince of Peace Lutheran church in Evansdale on March 8th. I’m also hoping to meet with some other churches before flying back to Ukraine March 11th. If anyone has an extra vehicle, or knows some with an extra vehicle I could use for some of the time I am in Iowa, it would be great.