CENTRAL UKRAINE — Samaritan’s Purse is in Ukraine providing medical and trauma care for internally displaced people and for those living in conflict-affected areas.
Anastasia and Vadym Ermishyn – Ukrainian Internally Displaced Persons:
When the war started, we were awakened at 4:30 a.m. by the sound of explosions and air raid sirens.
Tavel Litvin – Ukrainian Internally Displaced Person:
Mariupol was blocked. We couldn’t find food or water, and the whole infrastructure was damaged.
Anna Cotokovo – Ukrainian Internally Displaced Person:
I lived five days in the subway and couldn’t stay any longer. I had to leave.
We used melted snow for water. Thank God it snowed.
Yana Tymoshenko – Ukrainian Interpreter:
Right now, the main thing is they’re so scared for the future. The IDP patients, they don’t even know where to go and when the war will end.
Megan Kevorkian – Samaritan’s Purse:
Samaritan’s Purse has come to Ukraine to assist those who are in war-afflicted areas, as well as those who have been internally displaced and have fled to some of the safer areas. So here in Central Ukraine, we are providing direct clinical services to IDPs– that’s internally displaced persons– as well as the population that’s here. The ability for patients– whomever they are– to go to their regular doctor, or even go to the hospital, has been disrupted because of the war. There’s either lack of supplies, lack of providers, or just lack of capacity. So we’re here supporting Ukraine through direct clinical services to get medical care to those who need it most.
Bob Spencer, MD – Samaritan’s Purse:
The needs that we’re seeing so far are patients that have fled their home environment, and they’ve run off without anything, so they don’t have their medications, and many times, don’t even have very many belongings. They’re at the point now to where any medicines that they did pack have been depleted, and they’re needing a resupply of their medicines, or just basic healthcare.
Brock Blankenship, MD – Samaritan’s Purse:
So today, we had a family from Mariupol that came in, a family of four– had a two-year-old, a 15-year-old, a husband, and wife– and their evacuation story was very traumatic. The dad breaks down and cries because all they had was a car and some basic belongings they had, and had a great need. Older child very afflicted with post-traumatic stress symptoms. The day before they left, the mom was working in the theater that got bombed the very next day. As they were leaving, they made it through a Russian checkpoint where they just kind of waved them through, and then they shot up the next four cars that were right behind them at that checkpoint.
The psycho-social state of the patients is one of despair, and also anyone that has been through trauma, just sorrow– every emotion you can imagine. These people have been traumatized with the war, and so that emotional and trauma care need is immense, and every single patient has that need.
Dan Bergman – Samaritan’s Purse:
These stories are hard. Finding that place of having an empathetic ear, and really being able to sit with people as they’ve witnessed death and destruction and loss, being able to sit and mourn with them and pray with them, and let them talk about their story and be able to process it. We have to believe that He’s good, that He has power to save, that it’s OK to sit in the brokenness, and just hear the brokenness and not always bring an answer, but just point people towards the hope that we have in Jesus.
I think it’s hard for anybody to see what they’ve seen and been through what they’ve been. I mean, you can see that they’re all struggling, probably with their own personal faith, as well as just trying to see where God is in this. We’re strongly connecting them to our pastoral care and pastoral services.
We’re here to care for people. We’re here to love them through direct clinical care, through provision of food, through provision of non-food items. People are either stuck in their cities, stuck in their homes, stuck in basements, or they’re fleeing out and they’re looking for someone to care for them. We have the opportunity at Samaritan’s Purse to show them Jesus’s love, and we are so blessed to be able to give this directly to those who are most in need.
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Samaritan’s Purse International Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) program is committed to meeting the critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease, and natural disaster. We stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice whenever and wherever disaster strikes. The DART specializes in providing water, food, shelter, and medical care while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
CONTACT: Melissa Nystrom, firstname.lastname@example.org