Off to Ukraine

For the sake of punctual updates, I find myself obliged to temporarily forgo my typical perfectionism when it comes to the copy-editing and formatting of my blog posts (which is extremely difficult for this ex journalist). So, please be patient with me and don’t judge too harshly.

Our family is moving to Ukraine. Let me start with saying that we are very happy, excited and blessed to be a part of this assignment. Yes, we have our own concerns; yes, it is a change of plans; yes, we have thought it through; yes, there are a myriad of challenges. However, we feel that God has given us a clear “Go” and already the pieces are coming together. And of course, we love the feeling that we’re actively doing something in response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. We had desired to go to there when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula to offer aid, but in the end decided that it was not the Lord’s intent for us and so we’re excited for a chance to help the Ukrainian people this time.

I really hope that I have time to return and share the story of how we came to this decision, because it is a great story, but for the moment people are requesting information from me. So, with time pressing in on all sides, I will start with answers. Please understand that the situation on the ground in Ukraine and the entire region is very fluid, which means that everything is subject to change and specific details are continually developing. I’ll keep you guys posted.

Also, this is primarily a blog for the telling of our story as it relates to eternity and the world around us. If you want something more detail or business oriented, please sign up for our online newsletter by contacting me through the “Contact Us” tab at the top of this page.

So, without further adieu…

Where are you going?

To the Ukraine, specifically within the country.

Why? And why inside of the country?

We are internationally certified counselors by trade with a specialization in trauma care. For almost 15 years we’ve received experience, training, resources and networking related to working with refugees, victims of war, sex-trafficked victims, street children and orphans. All of these things are converging in Ukraine at this very moment. We’ve lived in conflict areas, near war-torn borders and where the Gospel is being actively suppressed. We have the unique experience, training and resources to be a valuable asset as part of a Christian humanitarian response team in Ukraine. Our team is made up of some of the most amazing and elite individuals in the world and I can assure you, we couldn’t be in better hands.

While the world is focused on the refugee crisis at Ukraine’s borders, many are forgetting that, as of now, only two million of Ukraine’s 44 million population have fled the country. That means that there are many within the country that still need our attention and help. It is a needed and noble role to serve at the border, but we’ve been wired and called by God to go to those places where others are unable or unwilling. This is what we’re made for.

What will you be doing?

There are a plethora of opportunities and I’m certain unknowns will arise after we arrive. However, as it stands right now, we are looking at focusing on these areas:

  • Helping to transport individuals and families to relative safety, whether that is across the border or to a more stable Ukrainian city.
  • Helping to meet basic physical needs (food, water, clothing, blankets, medical supplies, shelter, etc.) and provide additional humanitarian aid.
  • Educating vulnerable women and youth about ways to protect themselves from becoming victims of sex trafficking.
  • Working with orphanages close to red zones that need help to relocate or are unable to do so.

These are the current areas we’re focused on. Our team is working over-time to make sense of all the red-tape issues (laws, logistics, etc.) and we’ll supply details as they become available.

Have you thought about safety issues?

Yes. We have trained for years to do this exact kind of thing. We are staying up-to-date with regular updates from the ground and we plan on avoiding areas with heavy fighting (hot zones). Most people hear “conflict area” and conjure up images of tanks and bombs. This idea is inaccurate, however, and our plan is to primarily serve people in relatively safe areas.

Besides, our motto remains unchanged: “The safest place to be is at the center of God’s will.”

How can I help or get involved?

At the moment there are three primary ways to help:

  1. Prayers- keep us in your prayers and write us through the “Contact Us” tab at the top of this page to receive our specific prayer requests.
  2. Financial partnerships- Our flights there are covered, but we seriously lack monthly funds and we simply don’t have the time to fundraise traditionally. We live on a very restrictive budget so that as many funds as possible can be directed towards ministry and humanitarian aid. We are also accountable to our financial processor and our sending organization. You can make a tax-deductible donation through our partnered organization, Borderlands International, by clicking HERE.
  3. Networking- You can never have too many connections. Know someone in Ukraine or nearby? Know someone working in the area? Know someone who might be interested in this kind of thing? Put us in contact. It never ceases to amaze me how God knits us together.

When do you leave?

We are scheduled to be abroad by the end of the month.

As always, thank you for keeping pace with our crazy life and for reading our blog. God bless!