What can one person do about the disasters in this world?
7th tour to bring people with disabilities from Ukraine.
This 7th tour, parallel to the 6th and 8th, will go to Zagreb. The Ukrainians have arranged everything themselves where they stay in Budapest and are expected in Zagreb, Croatia. They only need a bus to drive them and can even share the costs. Great, Axel calls now and then, because he would like to drive again and the articulated bus from Hessisch- Lichtenau is ideal for this trip with 41 seats and 6-8 wheelchair places. When I ask him if he wants to take over this tour, he immediately agrees and wants to set off the very next day. But it does not happen that fast and the Ukrainians need one more day.
The desired food, mattresses, vacuum cleaner, dryer,…everything is packed into the bus until it is really full.
Thursday, 24.03.2022 Axel drives off as the only driver and takes Bernd with him as an escort, who unfortunately does not have a bus driver’s license.
Suddenly comes the message that Croatia cancels the group and they cannot come. Oh no, now the bus is on the road and I have to find a new destination for the group. Thank goodness Soft Tulip usually finds good organizations for our groups in the Netherlands and the group of the 6th tour was also well accommodated in the Netherlands. But these people also fit well with the number and type of disabilities that Freundeskreis Mensch in Gomaringen offers. After a long telephone conversation with the leader, the decision was made to accommodate the group there. Now quickly rebook the hotel in Germany. Because they are going to southern Germany, Hohenstein Ernstthal near Zwickau fits better into the route.
Friday, 25.03.2022 while Axel is on the way with the bus, Hüg flies from Brussels to Warsaw and goes immediately to the border to support the drivers at the border crossing. From the road he sends photos to the driver groups and gives instructions what to pay special attention to at which border crossing, which documents are needed where.
Also the press team and CEO of Joni and Friends make their way to Poland to the border to see how our evacuations are going. Our partners in Ukraine are affiliated with the Joni and Friends organization. Hüg immediately takes the CEO under his wing and shows and explains everything to him. The news channel CNN is also there and many photos and films are taken. In the evening I see on the news that the US President Joe Biden was also in Poland that weekend. Quite a lot going on here.
Saturday, 26.03.2022 Axel, Bernd and Hüg drive to Luzk and spend the night in the rehabilitation centre of our Ukrainian partners. There they can unload all relief supplies.
Today also the sons of company Södermanns and two other drivers come to the border, bring wheelchairs, mattresses and food. This is, as you might say, our 8th trip to Ukraine. They pick up a woman from Ukraine and take with them a couple who are already waiting for them in Poland to be brought to Bad Bellingen. The woman is a blind diabetic and is very pregnant. Her husband has a walking disability.
Sunday, 27.03.2022 Hüg Axel and Bernd celebrate the service of the Ukrainian church right next to the rehabilitation center. What an encouragement this visit must be for our friends at war.
Monday, 28.03.2022 After another overnight stay with the group in Zamosc we go to Germany to the Betlehemsstift for the next overnight stay on the stage.
Tuesday, 29.03.2022 in the afternoon the bus arrives in Gomaringen and the group can move into their apartments in the facility Freundeskreis Mensch. They are now located right between Schönblick and Bad Bellingen where our other groups in Germany are housed.
Four weeks have flown by and it has been a very special experience for everyone involved to be a part of this project.
This is really God’s project. I am amazed at the dynamics that have developed from the idea of sending out a few Sprinters to get at least a few people out of Ukraine together with Pete from England. This weekend the few Ukrainians have already become over 300. God gives us the gift of being part of His plan for the lives of these people who are unnoticed by the world, but loved by Him.
I received this postcard from my friend for my birthday in December. It so blatantly fits this project that I can only marvel. Joni Eareckson Tada sends us a video in which she thanks us all.
and my answer video to her: