This is not a normal post. I am not slowly pondering my words as I write to skillfully tell a story. This post is straightforward and written with urgency. We need your help
The conflict and war at the border started eight years ago. But the intense bombing began over a week ago- a week before it got any media attention. A week or so ago, Russia came across the border and forcefully took women and children to the Russian side, leaving the men and forcing them to do labor for the Russian military. Deaf families were affected by this. They sent us videos explaining what was happening and asking for help. We saw the videos they sent of bombs, tanks, and airstrikes on the eastern border- still not making the news.
Chris and Oleg began planning to help…just before the larger-scale Russian attack happened. Now it was too late to escape the war. The borders are not allowing men to cross. Families are forced to choose between safety or staying together. They can’t have both. Our hearts are broken. We have been awake through the night for the last few days talking with and praying for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.
Deaf churches have been planted along the Eastern border. In Kharkiv. In Mariupol. Deaf camps and ministries were held in many other cities, all now under attack. We don’t know the status of many of those families other than the ones that have confirmed that they have been separated from their husbands. Pastor Oleg and his family started to evacuate to Poland…but there wasn’t enough gas. So they remain in their home in Boryspil and will use their food cellar as shelter if needed.
Banks have been shut down, and grocery stores are running out of food or have locked their doors. Those that are displaced from their homes are cold and hungry. Those that fled for the borders are stuck waiting or have been turned away in the cold and without enough food. There is now a food shortage.
Ukraine has been fighting back and fighting strong…but they are running out of resources, and they don’t have the manpower to continue the long haul against Russia.
The Deaf that have been displaced or stranded at various borders are confused and scared and need help. They are lost in the chaos without being able to hear instructions and have no access to critical information.
Chris, Pavlo, and Pavlo’s wife are meeting now with plans to go to the border and help the Deaf. Pavlo and his wife are Ukrainian. He is deaf, and she is hearing. They speak Russian, Ukrainian, English and ASL, and Ukrainian Sign Language. They will leave on Monday and arrive on the Ukrainian/Romanian border on Wednesday, March 2.
We are raising funds to send aid into Ukraine and for the families that have now become refugees. If you want to donate, you can give online here on our website. https://www.myegiving.com/app/giving/Deaf9999200