Aug 4, 2022

Unsung Heroes: Food Distributions in the Red Zone of Ukraine

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Show Notes

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, Samaritan’s Purse is partnering with faithful churches on the ground to distribute life-saving food and supplies to families trapped within the red zone. These brave Ukrainians are risking their lives in order to deliver essential aid to those most devastated by violence, food insecurity, and displacement.

For the past five months, host Kristy Graham has shared stories emerging from the conflict-torn communities of Ukraine. From families forced to flee their homes to the doctors and nurses treating wounds in our Emergency Field Hospital, each person featured in these episodes has shared unique perspectives about God’s provision in the midst of tragedy. And even as global news headlines are decreasing their focus on the crisis in Ukraine, Samaritan’s Purse continues to work alongside churches to aid thousands of families still struggling in the wake of food scarcity, unemployment, and violence.

In this episode of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, we take listeners closer to the conflict than ever before as we feature local church leaders risking it all for the Gospel.

First, Kristy sits down for a conversation with Stephen Sneed, a correspondent on the podcast team. He recently returned from his second deployment to Ukraine where he once again witnessed the church’s inspiring resilience in the face of incredible loss. He shares more about how Samaritan’s Purse is working in some of the hardest-to-reach places.

While in the field, Stephen spoke with Pastor Sergei, a leader whose church has housed almost 8,000 displaced individuals since the beginning of the conflict. He explained that this is a time to show the light of Jesus Christ to people who are fleeing.

“Most of them are not Christians, and this is the first time they see evangelical Christians. And we understand that this is our very role. Our role is to show them Christ,” Pastor Sergei said.

Later, Kristy and Stephen uncover how local church members and Samaritan’s Purse responders are serving more effectively together than they could by themselves. The complex aftermath of violent conflict is still impacting tens of thousands of people trapped in Ukraine.

“Really that partnership is crucial to make sure the most need is being met,” Stephen said.

Through these partnerships with the local church, Samaritan’s Purse is providing metric tons of food each week. Stephen describes how our partners transport supplies to areas of the country still under siege. Without these vital supplies, families face starvation and extreme poverty.

But serving isn’t safe. Drivers face gunfire and occasional aerial bomb raids as they transport supplies into military-occupied cities. Kristy and Stephen explore how local church volunteers and Samaritan’s Purse staff members rely on God’s protection.

One of these volunteer bus drivers—an ordinary church member who has chosen to risk his life to serve others—describes the special unity shared by believers.

“And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

“That is what we’re seeing with our church partners. It is a joy to serve with them and to help those who are suffering,” Kristy shares. “Through medical care, food distribution, airlifts, and water filtration systems, we’re working with the local church to relieve physical suffering, but more importantly, offer the spiritual hope of the Gospel.”

We’re inspired by the bravery and dedication of our church partners around the world, and invite you to continue partnering with us in prayer for their safety.

Tune in to hear from more voices on the ground, and to learn about our response in Ukraine.