On February 24, Jeff and I recorded an episode of the show amid news reports of a full scale invasion of Ukraine by neighboring Russia. As fast as that time seems to have flown by for us, that we are now on day 40 of war.
I have had friends flee Ukraine (that GEHB listeners have generously help provide for). Others are unable to leave the country, but have made it to a safer area of the country. A sister missionary that I served with wrote to me:
"My daughter and I left and are currently in Germany. We are staying with some members of the church here. Next week the government should give us temporary housing in an apartment - thanks to God, we are safe."
She is also pregnant and the baby is due at the end of July. She continued after I asked if she needed money for food or supplies:
"Yes, we have enough. The apartment will be paid for and members have given us food, etc. My husband cannot leave the country because of his conscription. When this changes he will try to join us. The hardest part for us was making the decision to leave. Now we are just learning to wait and believe that the Lord will take care over us. I know many people who have it much worse than us. This thought helps me to not lose heart and not forget about gratitude. Even through all of these trials, we have seen many blessings."
Another member I served with is living in apartment near the Polish border while his wife and two sons are in a western European country (where she served her mission). His business has been gutted and all of their savings have been put towards making sure they are okay. He is living with a couple other men who are church members in a similar situation and they hope they have the cash to make it a few months. But after that, their entire life will have to start over.
On our Discord, I shared the story of a family I am very close to that is seeking to emigrate - members of the GEHB community helped provide food and lodging in Warsaw where they connected with church members from Luxembourg with whom they're now staying until their visas to Canada are approved. The most difficult part is that her mother lived with them, but is not in great health and decided to remain in Kyiv. When they left to trek through the snow in an attempt to get on an evacuation train, the rushed goodbye may well be the final time they see each other in this life.
All of these stories are worse than anything I've ever had to do in my life. And probably most of you as well. As I look on social media day after day to look for updates from people I care about, I constantly see how they are recognizing the Providence in their life and finding things to be grateful for.
How You Can Help
On Saturday between conference sessions I chatted with Andre Polonski. You can follow him on Instagram - @AndrePolonksi. Prior to the war he ran a business doing farm to table food deliveries. In the last 40 days he has pivoted to doing 2,000 grocery deliveries a week and delivering 2,500 hot meals prepared by restaurants a week.
It's just him and his driver, and the two of them are working from just about sun up to sun down delivering as much food as possible. There is no "safe" area. He feels that the Lord has prepared him for this and it is how he needs to serve those around him by using the talents, abilities and network that he has grown over the years.
Here is the interview -
You can help by sending me money on venmo - @GarrettMcClintock or PayPal - https://paypal.me/GarrettMcClintock (or DM me or Jeff on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram) and we will route everything to Andre. Gas is getting increasingly expensive as he makes his rounds and supplies are getting harder to come by. This is direct boots on the ground aid that will help somebody eat today - not have to go through stages of planning like a large humanitarian organization is forced to do.
Andre is a hero that we can all learn from:
- Seek the little blessings all around us
- The fast way to help somebody is by us doing it personally - not waiting for a large organization to mobilize
- Logistics, finance, whatever it is - our talents can be unique and used to serve others. Service is not limited to yard clean up and making meals.