Helping Ukraine Refugees
Eastside Partners With Samaritan’s Purse
The world is shocked and horrified by the images of death and destruction coming out of Ukraine, a catastrophe we have not witnessed in Europe since the Second World War. We’ve also seen the images of the strollers left by Polish mothers as a gift for fleeing Ukraine Mothers. A symbol of hope and support as Poland has welcomed these refugees. The war began on February 24, 2022, and more than 5 million refugees have fled the country–most escaping into Poland. Poland is hosting more than 3 million; 90% of those who have fled are women and children.
This winter, Eastside was able to send financial aid to refugees through Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse has set up a field hospital about two and a half hours from the Poland/Ukraine border. Dedicated medical teams are operating emergency field hospitals and multiple outpatient clinics and have treated thousands of patients. Hospital locations include Lviv, central Ukraine, and southwestern Ukraine. The hospital on the outskirts of Lviv, in western Ukraine, opened on March 14. In addition to operating on the ground, they’ve also sent multiple airlifts, primarily their DC-8 cargo jet, which has carried relief items and medical supplies for use or distribution. These flights are also helping to resupply Ukrainian hospitals. Donations from Eastsiders, and others like it, will help Samaritan’s Purse continue to operate right where it is needed most.
Arty VanGeloof, Eastside Christian Church’s Director of Global Compassion, flew to Poland in April 2022 to help refugees fleeing the war-torn country of Ukraine. While there, he visited 750 Ukrainian orphans. He spent time working alongside other volunteers who couldn’t look the other way when so many children were suffering. Through the generosity of Eastsiders, Arty was able to purchase new clothes, medicine, tablets for studying, games, and toys. Many of these children are still in shock, confused, and feeling hopeless, yet they are so thankful for the unexpected kindness of strangers.
Another reason Arty flew to Poland was to bring funds and encouragement to our Eastside partners at Church of Grace in Melitopol, Ukraine, who we have been supporting for over 20 years. Over the years, the Eastside Compassion team has sent Eastsiders to Ukraine as needs arise to partner in sharing the gospel. Although communication has been limited since the beginning of the war, Eastside has continued to help The Church of Grace as needs arrive. During Arty’s visit to Poland, he was not able to get into Melitopol, but some from the Church of Grace were able to connect with him. We will continue to see how and where we can be the most helpful for the people of Melitopol.
Eastside Christian Church has a relentless love and commitment for all to know God. We are committed to finding unique ways to serve in our local communities and help our global neighbors. If you would like to find out more about ways to make a difference in your community and around the globe, visit eastside.com/compassion.
We volunteer in local and global communities, and we also meet together every weekend if you would like to join us in person or online. We believe that Eastside is a place for everyone, wherever you are on your journey. If you would like to find out more about Eastside, please visit eastside.com.