As the winter wind blows, a woman wrapped in a warm blanket shivers in the cold as she bends low over an open flame to stir the soup she is preparing for dinner. Inside her home, her children, who are also wrapped in blankets against the cold, huddle together and try to do their studies by the light of a single candle. As their mother brings in the pot of soup, the youngsters quickly push aside their books and hold the bowls of steaming soup close to warm their freezing hands.
This is not some medieval village story, but the current situation for many Ukrainians today, 348 days into the unprovoked invasion of their homeland, Ukraine, by the Russian Federation. The cold winter days have been made even colder due to the destruction of the power grid throughout the country. Entire families have gone without power, light, or heat for months on end.
In the war-torn country medical supplies and assistance are hard to come by. Ukrainians can no longer just pop round to their local doctor’s office when they are in pain. They cannot call 911 to have paramedic arrive and take them to the hospital if they are suffering a heart attack. They cannot even give birth in the safety of maternity ward.
More than ever the innocent civilians of Ukraine are dependent on the generosity and assistance of benefactors from around the world, people who care about the welfare of those in need. Today, two sides of the world united to bring some warmth to these innocent bystanders of war.
On Tuesday, February 8, 2023, with the blessing of Metropolitan Antony, Prime Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora, Archbishop Daniel, Ruling Hierarch of the UOC of the USA and President of the Consistory, was able to ease a bit of the burden and uncertainty these people face. With the assistance of the Secretary of the Western European Eparchy of the UOC in Diaspora, Fr. Oleksandr Smoktunowicz of the Protection of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Munich, Germany, Vladyka Daniel was able to procure four additional ambulances to help save the lives of Ukrainians.
The purchase of these medical vehicles was co-sponsored by the Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Genk, Belgium, who presented Archbishop Daniel with a generous donation of 50,000 euros during his most recent visit to Belgium in November of 2022.
These vehicles will save countless lives. Unlike the warning sirens of impending missile strikes which bring fear, these ambulance sirens will bring hope – hope to an end of pain, hope of healing of wounds, and hope of life.
You too can help save the lives of innocent Ukrainians who suffer the brutality of war at the hands of the Russians by donating to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief Fund of the UOC of the USA.