Asheville – Last week’s issue of the Tribune gave information about an Emergency Field Hospital being shipped to Ukraine by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian evangelical organization based in Boone, N.C. DC 9 and Cargo planes airlifted supplies out of Greensboro, N.C. headed to Poland and nearby countries. Since then, more relief efforts have been sent. Here is a brief update sent by Stephen Sneed, the Media Relations Coordinator for Samaritan’s Purse.
In addition to the Emergency Field Hospital, Samaritan’s Purse is running a Medical Stabilization Point just outside a busy train station in Ukraine. Doctors and nurses have started treating patients from this location. Patients who need further medical attention will be triaged and then transported to our Emergency Field Hospital. A local pastor said, “No matter what happens, we will never stop praising God.” During a time of prayer, he thanked the Lord for the opportunity to minister to His people for the sake of the Gospel.
In Poland 1,000 food items and 1,100 liters of drinking water have been distributed to more than 1,000 people who’ve crossed the border. In Romania Samaritan’s Purse was able to partner with local churches in Romania to purchase over 11 metric tons of food, along with additional supplies to be received by churches on the ground in Ukraine as they seek to assist refugees. In Moldova this evangelical organization has been partnering with local churches and the local government to distribute food, hygiene kits, and other essential items to those in temporary shelters.
In addition, Samaritan’s Purse has opened a mobile medical clinic at a large refugee shelter that houses anywhere from 600 to 1,000 people at a time. So far, Samaritan’s Purse has helped more than 5,000 refugees throughout the country.
The World Central Kitchen
The World Central Kitchen was founded in 2010 by Chef Jose Andres and is headquartered in Washington, DC. The WCK heads to the frontlines to provide meals in response to specific crises, where they build food systems with locally led solutions. Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen, spoke on a video on their website that WCK has been establishing feeding stations at border crossings throughout Poland. Hot meals are being served by dedicated volunteers near the train stations in Lviv with sandwiches, tea, coffee, and baked good throughout the day and night Supply tents are set up a well to support the arriving refugees, who then go by bus to be registered and head to shelters where they can stay for short periods. Most of the refugees are exhausted having traveled extensively.
Mook said: “We’re delivering to over 50 locations here in Lviv and serving close to 15,000 meals a day.” “We are having challenges primarily because of the scale of what we’re doing. We’ve set up a corridor; we’ve got trucks coming in every day from Poland. We have six trucks arriving tonight, and we have warehouse spaces here in Lviv already, so we’re starting to stockpile food. We’re starting to get things set and to provide food to our restaurant partners. I think we have 10 kitchens now active in Lviv cooking. Making sure those kitchens are well-stocked is a priority.”
“We’re working with an incredible network of Ukrainian chefs and restaurants and kitchens here. They’re deciding what meals to make, which is really how it should be. I was in the kitchen today and our chefs there were preparing all sorts of different things. They were doing a beef bechamel, some pulled pork. They had chicken thighs, chicken wings. All sorts of grains: They love bulgur here, and rice and buckwheat. And lots of vegetables and salads.”
“One of the big things that we’ve been making, especially at the train station, is a bograch soup. It’s kind of like a goulash, with potatoes, onions, carrots, and beef. It’s a very hearty, tasty, warm stew, which is perfect because the nights are so cold and families are arriving at 1:00 or 3:00 in the morning and it’s freezing out and this hot bowl of soup is probably the first hot meal they’ve had in a day or two and sometimes longer, depending on where they’re coming from. It’s comfort food—that’s what we’re trying to provide.”
Excerpt from interview by Lisa Feld posted online.