Our friends in Ukraine...
We’re all watching in disbelief the disaster that has fallen upon Ukraine, and indeed upon Europe as a whole. Who would have thought that Europe would once again see such utter madness and the total destruction of cities? At this point over 3,500,000 have fled for their lives from Ukraine—-that would represent nearly every citizen in Los Angeles!
Putin will fail and Europe will be better because of this—-and perhaps this will silence some of the utterly insane international and domestics policies of USA also. This invasion showed that there are many things good about our nation—and our allies in Europe—but also cowardice and a lack of gratitude for God’s blessing in our democracy. I pray that hearts might be changed now.
There’s been an outpouring of opportunities to send money to organizations that are promising to help the refugees, the displaced, the orphans, et al, from Ukraine. Sometimes it’s hard to know who to trust. But rather than simply complain or wring my hands about we should be doing to help, we’ve decided to do something a bit more direct here at our camp.
As some of you know, The Vineyard is a Sponsoring Agency of the United States Department of State. With our status we are able to issue the proper papers (DS2019 documents) for summer work visas. We do not need any more foreign staff this summer, but we interviewed many Ukrainians this past fall, prior the the Russian invasion, hoping to hire a few—-the Ukraine staff have been excellent in the past.
At this point none of the male applicants can come—they have all volunteered or have been conscripted to serve in the Ukraine army. But the female applicants are able to come—-and are most anxious to attend if at all possible this summer. They’re been forced to leave their homes, along with their mothers and younger siblings, as their fathers, adult brothers and boy-friends are courageously fighting to protect their country.
We have issued thirteen documents to help these Christian young women to come to our camp. We wish we could accept more, but time does not permit. We have until March 25 to get these ladies their visas from U.S. Embassies in Poland, Germany, Turkey or Kazakhstan—-the nations to which they have fled.
The point of this blog is to request your support in one of four ways (and I rarely do this in my blogs—but the need is great…)
1. Pray that these documents arrive on time for these girls. We have a very short window to schedule the final interview with the embassies in Eastern Europe. Please also pray
that the Embassies are favorably disposed towards the Ukrainians—-they would be a blessing to us and we hope to bless them when they come.
2. Consider “adopting” one or two of these staff, if you live near us, on their night or day off. They will be quite lonesome for a home and some tender encouragement from a compassionate family after all they’ve experienced.
3. Assist us with their visa documents. It will cost us $550 per staff. 4. Consider a special gift to cover a part of their summer salary. Under this program I must pay them the same fee I pay any other staff. Again, we don’t need these ladies this summer, but we are stepping out in faith that others will support us by helping to fund their summer salary—-only $225/week—-the camp will cover meals, lodging, insurance and ground transportation.
This is a lot to take in, perhaps, but we believe that their testimony will inspire others to help, and I am certain that our “love-in-action” will resonate across their communities when they return home.
Please contact our camp if you have questions or want to help a Ukrainian staff this summer.