Pro-Life Ministry Rescues 300 Disabled People From Ukraine

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 30, 2022   |   1:53PM   |   Washington, DC

In war-torn Ukraine, a U.S.-based pro-life ministry is helping a vulnerable group of people who often are forgotten during tumultuous times.

Joni and Friends has helped nearly 300 Ukrainians with disabilities and their caregivers escape across the border to safety since the war with Russia began, according to CBN News.

Founder Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic, is a pro-life and disability rights advocate and a Christian. Her ministry provides assistance to and affirms the value of people with disabilities across the world.

“We serve a God who cares for the afflicted and, surely, our Ukrainian friends are proclaiming, ‘For the Lord God will help me; therefore, I shall not be confounded!’ (Isaiah 50:7),” Eareckson Tada wrote on Facebook this month.

Galyna, who works for Joni and Friends in Ukraine, told CBN News that they have taken six caravans out of the country since the war began. Last Friday, she said they helped about 50 people with disabilities and their caregivers in eastern Ukraine to cross the Polish border to safety.

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During their first rescue in early March, she said they waited 11 hours before they were allowed to cross into Poland. While they were waiting, Galyna said she noticed another family who needed help.

“At first we had 39 people,” she remembered. “When we came to the border … I looked at the line of people who were crossing on foot, and I saw a familiar face. It turned out that this woman was the mother of a boy with cerebral palsy, and he was in a wheelchair.”

Galyna said they found room for the woman and her son in the vans, and eventually they all were allowed to cross the border.

“Praise God,” she said afterward. “That is the greatest blessing, really! They are there. They are safe.”

Here’s more from the report:

The Joni and Friends team in Poland will meet the caravan as they cross the border. Upon arrival, each refugee will receive a hot meal and a hotel room until arrangements can be made for them to travel to Germany or the Netherlands.

For the next year, the group will provide shelter, hygiene products, medical attention, clothing, food, and counseling for psychological trauma to individuals.

According to Joni and Friends, people with disabilities especially suffer during wartime.

“Where there is war, people with disabilities are often forgotten and abandoned,” including many who are orphans, the organization reminded people on its Facebook page.

Galyna said she and others have decided to stay in Ukraine, despite the risk, to help people with disabilities.

“Am I afraid? Yes,” she said. “But the right decisions are always the most difficult ones. We are still alive. God continues our lives, and that means we can do something for people who need help.”

She asked people to pray for their ministry as they continue to serve the Ukrainian people. Galyna said many desperately need to hear the hope of the Gospel.

“Our people need encouragement, need the Gospel, need support right now,” she said. “So may God help us as Christians to be this blessing and support for millions of other Ukrainians who are staying here and defending our country by doing whatever they can.”