In Feburary 2022, Kalim Andraos was in his room in Beirut struggling to breathe with Covid-19. While resting, he began watching the news and witnessed the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As he watched footage of Russian tanks rolling along Ukrainian streets, he heard the distinct call of God: Go to Ukraine.
The directive was both comforting and weighty. Since Kalim was experiencing more severe symptoms of Covid-19, he was concerned he would not recover. But because God had called him to Ukraine, he was reassured that he would surely make it through the illness. However, the invitation to follow such a prompting could put his life in danger.
In the following weeks, Kalim recovered from Covid-19 and acted on the prompting he felt in Beruit. He contacted several leaders of non-profit organizations including Horizon International President, George Houssney, 1,000 Lighthouses President, Mark Dunn and Save A Life International President, Nadia Gordynsky.
Together, with the help of New Canaan Society and various churches and anonymous donors, this team raised over $160,000 to support Ukranian refugees.
A few months after hearing God’s prompting, on April 18th 2022, Kalim and his teammates were ready for the journey. They loaded an airplane full of hundreds of pounds of medicine and medical emergency supplies and flew overseas. As their plane descended into Lasi, Romania, Russia launched renewed missile strikes into the northern region of Kylv and the western region of Lviv, less than 300 miles away from where they would be stationed.
Despite the threat of danger, Kalim and the team got to work transferring supplies into a convoy of small vans and drove to the historic mountain city of Suceava, where a local resort had been converted into a large refugee camp. The resort’s owner, Cornel Clipa, and his family were busy serving hundreds of refugees who continued pouring over the borders daily.
The team experienced first encounters with many of the devastated Ukranians who had had suffered tremendous loss of family members, homes and property. Children separated from their families and elderly dementia patients were just some of the refugees who required special attention.
Over the next several days, Nadia, Kalim, Mark and George provided weary refugees with food, medical supplies, clothing and beds. Nadia, a Ukranian American whose non-profit manages pregnancy centers in Ukraine, was able to leverage her resources and contribute a warehouse full of baby formula, diapers, clothes, shoes and blankets. As many as 3,000 refugees were given aid.
From Suceava, the team continued their efforts and traveled throughout the region, crossing twice into Ukraine to deliver supplies. Several times on their journey, they had to take shelter from potential bombings and use caution when traveling the open roads. They toured Chernivtsi, Khmelnytskyi, and Lviv. In each city, they visited active churches, where pastors moved pulpits and pews to make room for beds and makeshift kitchens. Despite the devastation, the Ukranian church rose to the challenge and showed the tireless love of Jesus. The team witnessed many refugees receiving Christ and meeting together in homes for prayer and shared meals. Kalim described their twelve-day journey as a true “Acts Chapter 2 moment.”