Upstate church is funding members who, right now, are driving supplies into and war refugees out of Kharkiv
Summer of God Slavic Evangelical Church in Anderson, is on the ground in Kharkiv. Through its Ukraine Relief Project, the church is funding food, medical supplies, fuel, and drivers on the streets of Ukraine. Eight church members are driving refugees away from war to safer areas, many in Poland, says church member Tali Osipov.
Osipov is leading the church’s fundraising efforts in Anderson, where she is a critical care nurse. She’s heading to Ukraine too, possibly before the end of this month. Her only hesitation with saying exactly when she’s going is that she doesn’t want to leave and see the relief project sere on the vine.
Is she afraid of going to streets littered with rubble and bodies and war? No. In fact, Osipov sees her community’s efforts to help Ukrainians – who include family, friends, and people she personally knows – as a calling from God.
And those eight drivers? She knows them too; communicates with them daily; hears them spill their hearts over the tragedy they see in a country that was already the poorest in Europe before the Russia n military invaded it.
In the middle of extreme winter cold.
With no working utilities.
Project volunteers in Anderson asks these drivers every day to text. Anything. An emoji, even. Just something to let everyone know they’re still alive. For the moment, they are. But Osipov says they are all aware of the risks; they all know it’s no guarantee they’ll make it to where they’re going. Or back, to bring supplies and get more people.
You can hear from Tali Osipov yourself, by playing the audio story above. And do her a favor – pray. The drivers and other rescue workers in Kharkiv tell her every day that they need it.