Jun 22, 2023

Listen Again: Our First 72 Hours in Ukraine

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Show Notes

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” — Colossians 1:9 (NIV)

Samaritan’s Purse is responding to needs on the ground in Ukraine as the conflict persists. In early June 2023, a dam in Ukraine gave way leaving thousands of Ukrainians displaced. Samaritan’s Purse mobilized church partners on the exact same day enabling them to rescue hundreds by boat and distribute food, clean water, and other critical supplies.

At the beginning of our response in March 2022, we had teams in Poland, Moldova, and Romania. This episode covers our Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) crossing the border into Ukraine for the first time. Our podcast correspondent, Melissa, joins our DART to witness how our teams are working to meet physical and spiritual needs in the early days of the crisis.

First, hear from Ken Issacs, the Samaritan’s Purse vice president of programs and government relations, as he reminds our teams of the story of the Good Samaritan. Each morning, the DART gathers for a time in God’s Word as they pray and worship together.

“God has given us a sacred opportunity.” – Ken Isaacs

The Samaritan’s Purse disaster responders soon packed up to travel to the Poland-Ukraine border. Edward Graham, the chief operating officer for Samaritan’s Purse, shares his thoughts while watching the sea of people stream through the border.

The DART worked late into the night and started again early the next morning to meet with a few Samaritan’s Purse church partners in Lviv. As they were in the church, our podcast correspondent got to hear from Eva, a mother of three, who just arrived from eastern Ukraine. She had to leave her husband behind as he stayed back to fight.

“If you start to cry, you can’t function. My emotions are in a ball in my stomach, but there is no time to fall apart. But, we know we’re in God’s hands. We have to keep trusting Him.” – Eva, a mother fleeing the conflict

Samaritan’s Purse has continued to shift our response in Ukraine as the needs have changed. We have established more than a dozen water points, and we're partnering with local churches to deliver food to the people in the conflict zone and those impacted by the dam’s collapse. People are seeing the Church meet their physical needs, and this is opening the door for them to share the Gospel.

Kristy closes the episode with encouragement from Scripture.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;, but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)

Please continue to pray for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, for our country office in Ukraine, and our church partners who are serving faithfully. If you’d like to keep up to date with more stories on the ground, please visit SamaritansPurse.org.