Aid for Ukraine

Oct 13, 2023 | PRAY, Prayer Focus for the Nations

Ten years ago we featured the work of Bruce and Jo Pulman, a notionally retired couple, in serving the church in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.*

Since then they have been working flat out to deliver aid to Ukraine. Incredibly, they have completed no fewer than eighteen trips since February 2022. Truly there are ‘doing what they can.’ For their immediate trips, however, they need additional drivers and vehicles. As you read about the work they are doing, can you keep a weather ear open to the Lord to see if He would prompt you to contact people, or to help in some or monetary way yourself.

Can you help in this aid for Ukraine?

Bruce and Jo Pullman, who we have known since Oxford days, have been making one trip a month to the border of Ukraine taking essential supplies for peple most affected by the war.

They are feeling at quite an impasse for the next trips, however, as regards both vehicles and drivers, so I am sharing this with you in considerable detail (please do take a look at their website) in case you might know somebody who might like to be involved in such a thing . . . or indeed to be involved yourself. And of course to pray for it.

The bottom line is that

  • Further funds are required to buy food
    (We have flat pack boxes, and people willing to pack and seal them).
  • We need people to drive with us to Poland, or lend us big cars.
  • We also have potentially 2+ tonnes of excellent quality brand new warm clothes.
  • Our final ‘easy’ trip (weather wise) departs the UK on the 24th November.

Bruce has said, ‘If the Lord had said to us in March 2022, as a then 65 and 69 year old, that we were going to be responsible for collecting, sorting and delivering a major aid trip for each of the next 18 months, including one with a full articulated lorry and one with 18 people (9 big cars plus trailers) and that the vast majority of participants would not be Christians and that a number would become believers…..we would have laughed and said “no way”.

Trip 18 involved three cars and six drivers: Jo & I, a believer friend Mark we have known since Tring days (25 years!) and three non believers we had not previously met, Colin 66 ex army recent widower, and two ladies Karen and Katie in their 50s, who were both taking a year off from NHS senior admin to travel across Europe in their campervans.

We left the UK on the 24th August, and arrived on the Saturday in our base village in SE Poland where we unloaded our aid for later transhipment to Ukraine, and participated in a simple ceremony to celebrate the completion of the new roof on the refuge we have built in a huge converted barn which doubles the number of usable rooms (for displaced Ukrainians and Polish homeless).

We took 250 identical contents family food boxes (already packed by volunteers and that had been occupying much available space in our small townhouse in Lymington) in three estate cars.

As well as food boxes for refugees in Kremenchug we took wash bag sets for soldiers in the hospital and special food and protective gear for local village Polish believers, Marius and his wife Katia. They drive regularly to Kherson with some of our aid (including hand knitted donated Trauma Teds, which are always greatly appreciated).

Their vehicle (which we had bought for them 15 months ago) was hit by a high velocity round. We were able to take them £5000 worth of ballistic body armour and helmets.

The need for funds never stops, and I alternate between feeling frustrated and worried and depressed by the lack of funds and exultant when a cheque arrives. Jo is much more balanced and “by faith” plans the next packing day even when there are no contents to pack, and no money to buy the contents, and no volunteer drivers and no cars for the next trip.

Trip 19 ‘only’ involved a 24 hour two car trip with 200 boxes and clothes to Brittany from Portsmouth. Ben who lives there will take the load to Poland in his large car trailer combo, but not until December due to his unexpected work commitments.

An emergency trip 20 (20th October) has had to be planned to maintain the supply of food boxes to Kremenchug.

Trip 21 will leave on 24th November

God is good – always . . . but it is only fair to say that Jo & I are finding the project a huge strain at the moment, especially as winter approaches.

Pastor Valodymyr is down to his last 100 boxes and is pretty desperate, especially since the displaced persons workload is increasing not decreasing. Winter is a tough time in Ukraine and we have been given about 500kg or possibly more of excellent new winter clothing. We have bought food and will be packing it into boxes for departure. We just need a fresh impetus now of engagement and action, especially in the form of drivers and vehicles.

May the Lord provide as He has always done!

Do get in touch with me if you would like more details. Please WhatsApp or text an intro in the first instance and I will call you back as soon as I can. My number (confidentially) is 07738 094309.

Each trip will last about 6 to 7 days. We provide help, support, instructions, oversight, leadership. We cover all reasonable expenses against receipts but encourage drivers to fund raise (where possible) to minimise costs to the project.

 

*You can find the account of their trip in 2013 here: Typhoon Yolanda first trip and Typhoon Yolanda Update

This is what prompted Ros and I to record the video prayer cast ‘To Leyte with love’ for the Philippines. This presentation makes a powerful starting to pray for the victims of countless subsequent natural disasters around the world – as well as serving as a prompt to pray for the work of God in the Philippines. It is well worth taking to heart.

Photo by Benjamin Elliott on Unsplash

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