The Church has joined the war, armed with food and kindness
Our trip to the Ukraine border in Romania has been an emotional roller-coaster; from feeling the pain of those suffering trauma and loss, to seeing churches and communities working together across all denominations and backgrounds.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with 250 mattresses lined up in rows, many of them already occupied. A constant stream of refugees arrived on minibuses driven by the local fire brigade.
You immediately feel the emotional tension, the confusion and the dread of people who have lost everything and want something to bring reality back into their lives. You feel emotionally and viscerally struck by their pain.
We heard the story of a father and daughter who were shot and wounded while escaping and then drove two days without stopping to reach the border.
We listened to mothers and wives as they tried to reach their husbands and sons who had been left behind to fight.
And all of this in the extreme cold of winter where the air cuts through you like a knife.
We saw church leaders folding bed sheets, teenagers handing out hot drinks and grandmothers of the church making sandwiches. Love being poured out as the body of Christ works together as Jesus intended.
We helped with a convoy of four transit vans delivering food. The first destination was an old army barracks that had been converted to a hostel.
The second was a village hall feeding 300 people a day. Then, a Christian Centre that had been turned into a camp to house unaccompanied minors coming across the border. And finally, a distribution warehouse supplying food to resettled Ukrainian families.
Thousands have been so shaken and destroyed that they walk around visibly dazed and confused.
Yet, we witnessed families sharing their food with one another and locals handing over spare keys to their homes so mothers and children had a place to stay.
We crossed the border into Ukraine, meeting Pastor Alex whose church has become a strategic partner inside the war zone.
They distributed the first 30 tons of aid Feed The Hungry sent into Ukraine.
They expressed their joy at receiving the food you sent and described the hardships their city of 400,000 is experiencing on a daily basis.
They spoke of families torn apart, wounded children and newly orphaned boys and girls who had just lost their parents in the war.
They shared how volunteers with fast cars and minibuses traverse back-country roads to get supplies to villages trapped behind enemy lines.
From there, we journeyed to Moldova to meet Sam and Leo who are converting an abandoned hospital into a large “hotel” for families escaping Ukraine.
Feed The Hungry’s first container shipment to Moldova, which arrives next week, will provide the basic food and bedding required to set up this new refugee center.
Sam (a British woman who married a local Moldavian) was grateful for the chance to thank FTH first-hand,
“…All of you have invested your time and energy to make the impossible possible. Every item on every pallet Feed the Hungry delivers into Romania , Moldova or the Ukraine touches the lives of an individual affected by the greatest European humanitarian disaster of recent times.
We admire anyone who chooses not to pass by on the other side of the road when your brothers and sisters really need you… and we have seen the impact of that first hand.”
Your support has launched the beginning of a great relief effort that is bringing glory to God. We are in the first chapter of His story, and expect much more to be demanded of us all in the coming months.”
– Gwyn Williams,
Feed The Hungry UK
Church partners are distributing portable electronic mp3 players to the men and women serving in the Ukrainian defense forces. Pre-loaded with an audio copy of the Bible and used as a point of contact to share the hope of Christ. The hand held device has a built-in torch with both a traditional usb port and solar panels for charging. This is an invaluable tool.