Samaritan's Purse partners with Ukraine's churches to provide life-saving supplies to families suffering in conflict zones.
Pastor Vitaly* stands outside a Samaritan’s Purse warehouse in Ukraine waiting for his truck to be loaded with relief supplies. “Sometimes I receive questions like ‘do you fear it?’ or ‘are you scared about this?’ and I answer no,” he said. “I am not scared because there is something that moves me more than my personal fear.”
Pastor Vitaly is one of many faithful Christians in Ukraine who are partnering with Samaritan’s Purse to courageously truck food and medical supplies into dangerous conflict zones. As violence continues to unfold in the eastern areas of the country, civilian families are the ones paying the price. To meet the needs of these vulnerable people, Samaritan’s Purse is providing churches in Ukraine with aid such as essential food, hygiene kits, mattresses, medications, and more—equipping them to then transport these supplies into cities and towns of greatest need, even in the face of grave danger.
Life Behind the Front Lines
Today, more than 6 million Ukrainians have fled the country with an additional 7.7 million displaced from their homes inside the border. Many of these are completely without food, water, or electricity.
Marina* and her husband Oleksandr* know the horrors of living inside of the “red zone” of Ukraine all too well. An elderly couple in their 70s, the two suffered dearly as their town was recently attacked with missiles. Forced to hide in a basement for two weeks without basic resources, they struggled to stay alive. This was particularly difficult for Oleksandr as he fights stage 4 cancer. He sobbed when recounting the experience while his wife gently clasped his hands—tears of exhaustion and heartache filling her eyes as she tried to comfort him.
Oksana’s* story of life behind the front lines was eerily similar. While living in the rubble-laden remains of what was once her hometown, she said, “The first days we didn’t understand what was happening. But when the first house exploded, we understood.” As aerial attacks continued to strike her community, Oksana and her family made the painful decision to relocate to a nearby shelter, abandoning their apartment. Because of the fighting, all stores and shops closed, leaving no way for her to purchase food. The trauma was fresh in her mind as she said, “I feel scared. It is very painful.”
Love In Action
While the conditions throughout much of Ukraine are heartbreaking, Samaritan’s Purse and our extensive network of church partners are on the ground serving those in need. To date, we have provided more than 2,200 metric tons of food; 14,500 hygiene kits that include essentials such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene items; 1,400 mattresses for those who have fled their homes; 8,500 blankets; 10,200 solar lights; and 1,700 tarps to cover holes in homes that were bombed during air raids.
Additionally, we have airlifted more than 115 metric tons of medical supplies to the country which have then been trucked to healthcare facilities impacted by conflict.
The director of a hospital that was recently bombed was especially grateful for the donated supplies. He said, “It was really helpful, because now we are working to receive not only the medicines for the hospital, but we’re also treating people in occupied villages where we conduct surgical operations and provide medicine. Thank you for supporting us.”
This is all in addition to the multiple medical facilities Samaritan’s Purse continues to operate within the country, which are staffed by hundreds of personnel from all over the world.
Hope is Rising
Brave pastors and members of our partner churches are serving as unsung heroes by quickly moving the items we provide into areas where families are on the brink of starvation or worse. One of our partners named Pastor Anatoliy*, said, “I serve, because I live by the Scripture—I love the Scripture. When we distribute the food, we see joy. We see tears. Hope is rising.”
Marina and her husband Oleksandr eventually found shelter and assistance through a Samaritan’s Purse church partner that cared for them and shared the Gospel with them. When asked where they would have gone and what they would have done without the church and these donated supplies, Marina said, “I don’t know what we would do—we would just try to survive any way possible.”
When we met Oksana, she and her family clung tightly to the food packages they received at a distribution made by possible through a Samaritan’s Purse and local church partnership in her region. She shared, “I can’t even imagine what would happen if we didn’t receive these supplies.”
Fedir*, a husband and father who lost his job and fled his home as the conflict drew near attended a food distribution as well. After receiving rations for his family, he said, “These food packages are really helpful for me and my family to survive. I am really thankful for all who support it.”
Praying for Peace
We ask that you would continue to pray for a peace to fill the hearts of those suffering in Ukraine and for our selfless church partners as they drive essential aid and supplies into the hard places. Additionally, please pray for the Gospel to be made known to those in Ukraine who do not yet know Christ. Before Pastor Vitaly drove away to start his journey eastward to deliver supplies, he said, “Most of all, we ask that you pray for the beneficiaries. We tell them the Good News, pray for them, and tell them about God. These people really receive it because their hearts are open at this time.”