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Ukraine Appeal

As medical teams send aid to Ukraine, help us supply them with medicines and supplies.
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Forty Years of Blessings

Four decades ago, Dr. Harold Harder, a professor at Oral Roberts University’s medical school, went on a mission trip that would change not only his life and career, but affect the lives of millions around the world.

 

In 1980, Dr. Harder volunteered for his church’s mission trip to Guatemala. He was the team’s appointed member to gather pharmaceuticals for the medical clinics they would host on their ten-day outreach.

 

Those ten days and the lead-up to them would herald a significant shift in Dr. Harder’s life and calling.

“My heart was greatly moved,” he said, “first, by a deep compassion for the great health needs of these people and second, by the difficulties medical missionaries face in securing adequate supplies of essential drugs on a minimal budget.”

 

The struggle Dr. Harder faced in supplying his team’s clinics opened his eyes to a vast need in the medical mission world. “The time required for me to solicit and obtain the drugs was six to seven times more than the hours spent during the clinic itself,” he reflected.

 

Read more…

Tangible Help for Ukraine

Alexander and Marta* had left Ukraine in such a hurry, they’d forgotten their medication. Now, in a Polish refugee camp with 10,000 others, the elderly couple’s blood pressure was so high, the husband had already had a stroke, and the wife was in hypertensive crisis, with a blood pressure of 220/160.

Their hope was to get to the United States, where their daughter was and where they could get medical care. But without a COVID vaccine, traveling to the U.S. was impossible, and each day without medication was another day closer to tragedy.

A Changing Situation

Blessings’ receiving associate, Tracey, preparing an order for Ukraine.

Sadly, this scenario is an everyday reality for refugees, especially the millions of Ukrainian nationals who have fled to neighboring countries in the wake of the Russian invasion.

“The situation is changing all the time, but basic human needs stay constant,” Blessings International’s CEO Barry Ewy says. “Since the invasion, Blessings has been hurrying to supply essential medicines to the medical teams responding to the growing need in and especially around Ukraine.

“As quickly as we can process orders, we’re sending medicines and supplies out,” Dr. Ewy continues. “Teams are taking the provisions by hand as well as sending them ahead by export.”

One Partner’s Experience

Agape Blessings Cure, who was one of our first partner organizations to respond to the war, over-nighted 216 pounds of medicines in early March. Dr. Mary Tao, chief medical officer of ABC told us, “The purpose of this short trip was to transport urgent medications and medical supplies into Ukraine and especially the under-siege areas of Ukraine before all transportation routes were destroyed.”

Dr. Tao with a young patient.

And their goal was successful.

“I am very grateful to say that our suitcases of supplies were one of the very few that made it into eastern Ukraine, using the one last bridge that had not gotten blown up by the Russians.”

ABC’s base camp was in Poland, where they ministered to refugees and from where they sent medicines into Ukraine. Using the same vans that had ushered refugees to safety, volunteers from the area drove the vans back into Ukraine, this time loaded with medicines and supplies, never knowing if they would come back with another load of refugees.

“They [the people in Ukraine] have a mindset that they are left on their own to fend for themselves,” Dr. Tao said, “so the fact that a little bit of our [medicine] went in, brought a little bit of hope to them that God is there, God cares, and the rest of the world cares. I think that is actually the best outcome of our trip.”

“The hope keeps them going,” she added.

Just like Alexander and Marta, experiencing hypertensive crisis. Hope reentered their lives when they met Dr. Tao at a church service in Poland and learned she and Dr. Blake, who had come with Agape Blessings Cure, would be offering a clinic.

Although the couple couldn’t remember the name of their medications, Drs. Tao and Blake had brought blood pressure medicines with them.

“By the next day, their blood pressure came down,” Dr. Tao said. “But if it were not for God putting us together that day, they probably would have had strokes.”

Dr. Tao’s husband, an attorney, was then able to help the couple with legalities for entering the United States so they could reunite with their daughter. Thanks to one meeting, compassion led to provision, which led to hope amidst crisis.

“God will go after the individual,” Dr. Tao said, adding that if their team was able to show only one person that God sees them, their efforts were worth it.

Every Effort is Essential

Thanks to our donors, Blessings International is able to contribute to teams like Agape Blessings Cure as they provide relief to Ukraine**.

“It’s been truly amazing watching so many people and organizations come together asking, ‘How can we best serve?’ and then going and doing that,” Barry Ewy said. “The needs are very real. Thankfully, we’re able to offer tangible relief, and our partners are able to deliver it along with love and compassion.”

If you are seeking a way to offer aid to Ukraine at this time, here are some practical ways:

      1. Set up a one-time or recurring donation to our Emergency Disaster Relief fund. 100% of donations are used to supply medicines to the hurting.
      2. Pray for our partner organizations who are ministering in and around Ukraine.
      3. Download the GMHC Go app on Apple or Android and find a trip needing volunteers.
      4. Sign up for future Zoom meetings where we will help organization connect groups with people and vice versa.
      5. Tell your medical- and mission-minded friends about Blessings International and our donation opportunities.

 

*Names changed for privacy

**While funding is available.


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