BRUNSWICK, (WJW) – It’s been almost six months since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Thousands of tons of supplies have been brought there to help Ukraine fight, but there is another import that is just as important, simple human kindness.
“Just the trips that they would take just to talk and to be with the Ukrainians, to let them know, ‘we still know about you, we still care about you,’ praying with them, loving with them, just giving them a hug,” said Pastor Justin Brenenstuhl.
Pastor Brenenstuhl talks with pride about his adult children who have spent a lot of time in Ukraine with him and the rest of his family.
The associate pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Brunswick, along with his family, spent years doing mission work in Ukraine and says it is a place they’ve always had in their heart.
But on his last trip there, he says while military supplies that help fight the Russians are important, so is the need to help those who are casualties up in the war.
“We had a conference call with the director of a hospital in Kiev that I had met a few weeks earlier and he made some requests for different things, one of which was to have an ambulance that would be equipped to help evacuate and transport patients,” Brenensthul said
Brenensthul says ambulances are in very short supply. He says hospital officials tell them that the Russians specifically target ambulances.
So, he says they got to work to help get one. Their church community, along with many others, stepped up to get this done.
“We had some great donations through the Cleveland Fire Department. Right Aid donated some medical equipment and, in the container, we’re sending medical equipment,” Brenensthul said
The ambulance was painted and prepared for shipping by Martens and Sons Ambulance Service and in just a month’s time is ready now to be shipped out.
The pastor says human kindness is an unstoppable force because when you see what has happened to the country, you can’t help but keep the Ukrainians in your prayers.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking, some of the things you see, the stories behind every broken window, the stories behind every bullet hole,” Brenenstuhl said.
The ambulance and the medical supplies are scheduled to be loaded onto a container next week and the pastor says they hope it will arrive in Ukraine by mid-September.
Grace Baptist Church and other organizations are still working to help get humanitarian supplies to Ukraine.
You can learn more here.