Four heading to Ukraine to deliver 1,500 meals on mission trip
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started last February, tearing a hole in the lives of millions in the country.
On the other side of the world, some people in Lincoln are doing all they can to help, and some will even be traveling to the country soon.
Facing harsh winds or burning sun, a dozen or more people have gathered across the street from the Capitol since the beginning of the invasion, wrapped in the flags of their homeland.
“This Ukrainian rally where we come to pray and support and to raise awareness for the Ukrainian cause,” said Gary Fuller, a Lincoln pastor.
Some, like Mykhailo Smyshliaiev, the mission trip planner, are Ukrainians with loved ones who wake to the clatter of bullets and bombs every day.
“My in-laws are in Kherson,” Smyshliaiev said.
Some, like Pastor Fuller, are Americans, standing in solidarity.
“Our hearts have gone out to them. our compassion,” said Fuller. “We have been supporting them in one way or another financially, prayer, emotional support, for this last year.”
At the end of March, Smyshliaiev and Fuller are joining two others on a trip to Ukraine’s frontlines in the villages outside the recently-liberated Kherson.
“They got bombed and missiled [sic] like every day,” Smyshliaiev said. “This is insane.”
They’re bringing 1,500 boxes of food. Each can provide a family of four for two weeks, and all together the boxes can make about 20,000 meals. Smyshliaiev said he looked on in horror and despair when the bombs started falling. But now, he’ll have the chance to bring some light to his hometown.
“Just to hug them, this is huge,” Smyshliaiev said.
The group is still fundraising for that trip through Gentle Shepherd Baptist Church in Lincoln.
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