Letters and Stories from the War

May 2022 – After 5 weeks in Ukraine, it has been good to be home.  Paula returns to Ukraine with me and will remain in safe areas.  Her ministry time with the women separated from their husbands is important.  The needs are great, the war continues, and we feel God’s call to support the Ukrainian people.  Our staff remains in Hungary, Poland, and Germany with their husbands still in the Kyiv area. 

We have no idea when this war will end.  Thus, thank you for supporting the Ukraine Relief Fund.  Your support allows us to respond now to immediate needs, as well as prepare for the unknown future costs of helping our staff and hundreds of families. 

The Union Jack to the Rescue

As my wife drove me to LAX two months ago for the first trip to Ukraine, I got an email on my phone.

“Dear Jeff, my name is Ken and I am a sponsor of a family in Ukraine.  I live in the UK, have lots of experience with refugees, and I leave for Poland in a few days.   I am at your disposal if you need me.  I am a professional driver by trade and my work gave me indefinite leave to help the people of Ukraine.”

I quickly called him while Paula navigated the LA freeway.  “Ken,” I said.  “This is Jeff with Mercy Projects, I got your email.  We need you!  Let’s meet in Poland.”

Support Ukraine

“Okay Jeff, that is wonderful.  Look for me at the border.  My Land Rover has a Union Jack on it.”

After several runs transporting refugees to Belgium, Lithuania, Germany, and Poland, Ken joined us in Ukraine delivering supplies. 

“Don’t worry about me, Jeff.  I have driven to Kyiv before.  I know about the checkpoints.  I would like to visit my sponsored family near Kyiv.  They need help.”

To keep this story short, Ken has taken sponsorship to the next level.  He visited his family, and a few days later we transported them out of Ukraine to safety in Germany. 

The Land Rover has died and a van is needed

The trusty Land Rover, however, after untold thousands of miles on the road, overheated and died.  Ken found a used VW van in the UK as a replacement vehicle.  The van was $14,000 and if you would like to help us cover the cost, just note that on the return card or call our office.  This will help keep Ken on the road driving Ukrainians to safety.  Thank you!


“War knocked on our door, brutally…”

(A letter from the Dubrov Family)

I never thought that it would be so difficult to write this letter, because pain clench throat, because heart bleeds because our soul hurts for our motherland.  War knocked on our door, brutally, with no permission and ugly.  

Most of all children suffer – they are deprived of their childhood and they cannot go to school, meet friends, visit relatives, or play in the yard. Our children now know what explosions are, air raid sirens, curfew, evacuation, humanitarian aid, and destroyed buildings. The scariest thing is that they see civilians die.

We wake up every morning and thank God for giving us one more day of life for we don’t know what will be tomorrow.

It is hard for us to choose the correct words to describe that hell where Ukraine, our country, has found itself.  It seems that they just want to wipe us off the face of the Earth.  But Ukrainians were always famous for their valor, courage, and steadfastness.  And we will defeat the enemy.

When it hurts really badly, I write poems.

Spring is at the door,

And we’d better breathe fully.

The troops are at the border

And I don’t know what will be like tomorrow.

My mischievous daughter is at home,

running around, 

“Mom,” she says, is it really war?”

 And I don’t know how to find the words….

Thank you for your prayers and support.  Our immediate staff is safe, however, Lena at Hearts of Love remains in Konotop, which is near the Russian border.  Our caseworkers are now accounted for.  Our dads, the husbands of our staff, continue to serve in Ukraine.  Nobody feels safe right now.  Everyone prays for peace.