April 12 Update:
1. We have started placing people at two hostels, (that house 80-100 each). We help those hostels with supplies for bedding, washing machines, and food. Both are run by two different couples who are working very hard each day to house people passing through for a week.
2. I had a visit from Flame International who will work with us to host a seminar on healing for the refugees in mid May. It will be a four day event that refugees will be invited to for worship and healing.
3. We are working with International Medical Relief Clinic to set up a possible medical facility at our church starting April 18. A team of doctors will travel here from the US and setup in our church. Pray for wisdom to see if this is needed.
4. We continue to help build the Paprocki house for refugees. The work has started and will be on going for a few weeks as we fix it up and then furnish it. Many of your contributions will be used for this.
5. We sent our first food truck to Ternopil last Saturday. It was a week of learning for all of us as we had to physically go into the Makro store, (like a Costco but bigger), fill the carts and pallets with around 2 tons of food and some medical supplies. We will be sending more trucks in the future, as some of you are helping with that as well. This is the costliest part so far but well worth it. When you open up the files for this, watch the video and you will see how many people line up for one van sized truck. Ours is a semi, and I just learned that it arrived safely at its destination.
The letter below is from one of the individuals who originally contacted our member Janet S, about helping Ukraine refugees. Janet’s son served in the military with Jay who is still active with this church in Poland. The letter below is from Pastor Scott P with ICF Warsaw. St. Luke’s was able to send $11,000 directly to Poland to help this group care for Ukraine refugees. If you would like to join our efforts, please donate directly to ICFWarsaw.org or our Military Troop Support Ministry with the note Ukraine Relief.
March 25 – Good day to you my friends,
I am sending to you some more news from Poland so you can know how to pray and also see the hand of God at work in the current situation. I am sending you all the pictures that I have taken so far. I have titled them so you can know who is in them and know who to pray for them.
- Your gifts were sent to a church in Ukraine that one of our church members, (Katya), is from. This church is housing 40 people and uses the money for food and utilities.
- I was able to send 1000 USD to a church in Ternopil Ukraine. Another church member, Sasha, has a church there that she grew up in. This church also gives shelter, food and showers for refugees from the eastern Ukraine. God connects people at the right time. On Sunday morning we had a man from Ireland who had brought 30 truckloads of food to Warsaw where he was meeting with a Polish ministry that would transport the food into Ukraine. He stood up in the worship time to give thanks to God for his connecting with the Warsaw ministry. Sasha heard this and went to the man after the service and asked if they could send food to her church in Ternopil. As of yesterday a truckload of food is going to Ternopil, Praise God!
- Angie and went to the airport on Saturday to help a Michigan ministry called Force 4 Hope. They are here to setup housing at a christian campground South of Warsaw, for Ukrainian orphans. They are from Calvary Bible church, (Kalamazoo), and Radiant church. One of the men, Rob Houtman, lived in Allegan for awhile and his wife worked as a doctor at the Allegan hospital. Angie and met them, helped them get a van, and made sure they were well on there way with 30 pieces of luggage filled with supplies.
- I receive on average two messages a day in different formats, from people wanting to come here to Warsaw and help. Some I can connect and others I pass on to friends. One lady is flying in today from Fontana, California. Her name is Robin Lebedev and she has served as a missionary in the past. She will be running the church as a hostel, and caring for the refugees that stay there. This is a God Send as our church member, Younis Bassam, has been staying there for two weeks giving up his paid job, to help.
- With the war comes people wanting to interview and report to the world what is happening. I have received requests from three people; The Circus, (Showtime), Kamala Harris, and Paul Waldie from the Globe and Mail Canada. Kamala Harris would have been a tremendous amount of preparation, and she declined at the last minute, (her schedule changed), the Circus never showed up, but Paul Waldie did. I really enjoyed meeting him, he has been in Poland since Feb. 8 and has been documenting all that is happening here. You can pray for him as he goes to Lviv today in Ukraine.
- I was told a diplomat from Ghana wanted to come and thank ICF for caring for the students who had come through our church, (85 plus, during one week). I was not aware who he was until he arrived, that this was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from Ghana, Thomas Mbomba. It was an honor to meet him and tell him of what our church family was able to do, and so many others who helped. Ultimately we give the glory to God.
- There are four families in our church housing Ukrainian Refugees aside from the ones that pass through ICF. So on Sunday we had over 20 Ukrainians in attendance. My friend Arthur Derkach borrowed a very sophisticated translation device so they could all hear, (on their personal device and ear buds), the message in their language. We hope to buy our own as this will be invaluable.
- A Ukrainian grandmother, showed up for one night. She is 86 and her name is Ola. Younis said she found the keyboard in the worship center and asked if she could play it. She did and Younis shared that she played so beautifully and sang. She flew to the US the next day and when I met her, (before she left), and introduced myself, she grabbed my face with both hands, said some very good things in Ukrainian, and gave me a hug. I cried. What an unexpected blessing. Her final destination is Los Angeles and whatever church community she goes to will be blessed by this 5’2” dynamo!
- Tomorrow I will go to the Warsaw Central train station to minister to the refugees, (alongside City Church and Pastor Scott Curley), and bring them some aid, and provide housing for them if needed. I have been told that it looks like a scene from a war movie with many people sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags, and nowhere to go. Pray we can help them and continue to help many more. I feel we can turn no one away, and we trust that God will help us even when it seems to big of a task.
The Psalmist reminds us to taste and see that the Lord is good, (Psalm 34). I truly believe this statement and in these times we see His goodness and grace demonstrated in many ways. Continue to pray for us and Ukraine. May God deal his justice and end this soon. Until then we are the hands and feet of Jesus.
– Pastor Scott