Main Image: Rob Porter (right) with two of the vans that were purchased with funds raised by his church. The vans will be used to run humanitarian missions into the war zone as well as for transportation of refugees in the city of Uzhhorod.
Pastor Rob Porter and the Kingdom Culture Church in Burpengary have refused to let distance be an obstacle in helping those affected by the war in the Ukraine.
It started off with a fundraising effort for the Uzhhorod Baptist Church (UBC) which is located in the western part of the country. Because of the city’s proximity to the Slovakian and Hungarian borders, thousands of refugees from the war zones in the east have been arriving in the city looking for assistance.
Feeling called to help practically with the humanitarian crisis, Pastor Rob and his church raised $55,000 so that the Uzhhorod Baptist Church could purchase two vans and medical supplies.
One of the vans is now being used to run humanitarian aid and supplies in and around Pavlograd, one of the war zones in the east, while the second van will be used for transporting refugees to their church building where they are fed and cared for. The church is now caring for around 80 refugees per day, providing them with all their meals, as well as medical aid.
Pastor Rob caught up with us on the Brissy Brekky to talk about his travels to the Ukraine and provided insight into what is like to be in a war zone.
“Crossing the border there were hundreds of trucks waiting in line to get across and take aid in. In the west of the Ukraine people are going about their normal daily lives but the anxiety, the fear and the dread of what could happen is very palpable.”
“Also, when I was there, the air raid sirens went off. That made my skin creep; you can defiantly feel a change in the atmosphere when you cross the border.”
But in the midst of great devastation there is hope, with Pastor Rob sharing how the church is being a beacon of light in midst of the chaos and despair.
“The church is shining in this hour. All sorts of different churches are throwing themselves into the effort and are taking in many people.
They take them in, they turn their auditoriums that they use for services into dormitories and feed them”.
Pastor Rob is now continuing the fundraising efforts to provide the Uzhhorod Baptist Church with funds so that their food and medical costs can be covered each month.
“The church is currently supplying 80 meals, three times a day as well as medical supplies and personal items. If 100 churches or individuals could commit to $150 a month this would cover the food bill.
“UBC are having to raise the funds themselves when they should be concentrating on the spiritual and physical needs of the refugees. These refugees are suffering from PTSD; they have faced everything and lost everything.
“So wouldn’t it be amazing to take this financial burden of raising money off UBC and allow them to concentrate on the needs of the refugees.”
For more information on supporting the work of the Uzhhorod Baptist Church through Kingdom Culture Church, visit their Facebook page.
Listen to the full interview with Pastor Rob in the audio player above.