This year so far has been long and difficult. The first half of the year has brought so many challenges and situations that we could have never imaged seeing or experiencing. Time and time again the past months have shown us that our strength is in the LORD and we are reliant on His grace. Our efforts are totally insufficient trying to stand in our own strength. We have been so thankful for the outpouring of love and encouragement, received over the past months during times of personal tragedy, following the death of Stacey’s brother. Additionally, we have been grateful to for the continued concern and support for the country and people of Ukraine and our ministry there as tragedy and death continues to play out colossally every day across the land of Ukraine. The truth, that our plans are not the LORD’s plan, has been very real for us as life and ministry have continued to be turned upside down as war rages in Ukraine.
We are very thankful for both the financial support we have received for our regular ministries and the support given for refugees and the suffering people of Ukraine. We are so thankful to the many of you who generously supported people in Ukraine through our refugee work. With your financial support we were able to travel many times directly into Ukraine as well as to refugees forced from their homes and living in surrounding countries. With your financial support we were able to deliver 16 tons of food, supplies, and humanitarian aid and provide transportation for dozens of people fleeing the war. Traveling nearly 20,000 miles on the highways and byways of Europe in the first three months of the war.
Waking up on the morning of February 24 to the news of the Russian invasion, everything in our lives and ministry literally changed overnight. Unexpectedly we found ourselves involved in humanitarian and refugee work. We hope the blogs and accompanying pictures provide an update and an account of our ministry and work with refugees. We are thankful that God has placed us in this calling and in this position that we can be of service in this time of need.
February 24, 2022 will be a date forever etched vividly in our lives. How much more so for the millions of Ukrainians who have lost so much and suffered so greatly from this needless and senseless war? The events, feelings, uncertainty, and confusion of that day still linger in our minds and memories. The past seven months of Russian aggression have been a nightmare of unbearable suffering for the people and country of Ukraine. Missiles and bombs have fallen daily across Ukraine, air raid sirens cry out, and fighting has been intense. Large areas and many cities across Ukraine lie damaged or in absolute ruin after incessant bombing and shelling by the Russians and fierce combat between the two armies. Known as the breadbasket of the world, Ukraine’s black soil has been turned red with the spilling of blood. No one knows how many people have died in Ukraine thus far. There seems to be little accurate knowledge and conflicting reports of true causality numbers in Ukraine. However, there are many claims the combined losses of Russian and Ukrainian service members may be approaching a staggering 100,000 casualties. This along with tens of thousands of civilian deaths have resulted in an enormous loss of life.
In addition, it is estimated that close to 15 million Ukrainians, a third of the population, has been displaced. Many of you have likely seen footage and pictures of the destruction across Ukraine in the news. Time goes on and news cycles change. Please don’t forget Ukraine and its people. Please continue to keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers. So many people are suffering greatly as lives have been forever changed.