Crossing War Zones to Feed Ukraine
A photo journey of food from a warehouse in Poland reaching a family in northeastern Ukraine.
A burnt out tank on the side of the highway on the road to Kyiv. Photo by Saphryn Shikaze
Humanitarian Aid delivery is currently the lifeblood of so many whose lives have been flipped upside down by the War in Ukraine, and a majority of this aid enters the country from the west through Poland.
Pastor Henrik leading his congregation.
On the Polish side of the border is a town called Chelm, where resides Chelm Baptist Church, a community - lead by Pastor Henrik Skrzypkowski - who have housed thousands of Ukrainians on their voyage out of their Batkivshchyna (father and mother land) before heading to Warsaw and on to other parts of the western world.
Ukrainian mother and daughter now refugees from Ukraine volunteering in Poland / Italian volunteers helping to outfit homes for refugees / Pastor Henrik and company discussing supply and logistics. 📸@saphryn
Volunteers gather, some of whom are themselves Ukrainian Refugees. Aside from giving fleeing families a temporary home, to date they have opened themselves to hundreds of orphans from Ukrainian orphanages, providing Ukrainian Refugees from both east and west a safe place in their worship halls, spare rooms, and family homes. This takes an army of volunteers to make possible, and the solidarity is immense.
Pastor Henrik discussing supply and logistics / Palettes of food in a Chelm warehouse / $1,000 palette of food / Loading up a van with 2 palettes of food before traveling across the boarder.
Yet the church's main mission is on another scale altogether...
Baptist Charity Action (BCA Poland), lead by Executive Director Jonasz Skrzypkowski, is the humanitarian arm of Chelm Baptist Church. They gather funding from individuals and organizations worldwide to purchase and deliver Humanitarian Aid through their vast network of logistics channels. Founded in 2019 with a mission to help recovering alcoholics and provide foster homes for children, they have since developed a full-scale operation to support refugees from Ukraine while supplying cities all over Ukraine with Humanitarian Aid.
Semitruck driver after unloading medicine at a hospital in Kyiv / Preparing to unload in Kharkiv / Warehouse workers get ready to take out the first pallet / Pallet of food / BCA Poland #donateapallet / Warehouse worker unloads pallet in Kharkiv.
Each BCA semitruck loads up to 30 wrapped palettes of food before making a long drive into Ukraine multiple times a week. One palette of food can weigh hundreds of kilograms each and carries upwards of USD $1,000 worth of aid which will eventually reach churches and volunteer centers, at which point they will be distributed directly to those who will consume the aid. When medicine is included, one semi can carry upwards of USD $80,000 in value.
The highway into Kyiv is littered with remnants from the Battle for Kyiv, where the Russian attempt to invade the capital from the west during the early stages of the full-scale invasion was halted by Ukrainian forces.
Chelm Baptist Church and BCA Poland are on the frontline of the international humanitarian effort for Ukraine and are making every impact they can to help those devastated by this war, regardless of age, creed, gender, religion, or nationality.
Families and churches in Kharkiv Oblast, Northeastern Ukraine, receiving humanitarian aid from BCA Poland.
Interview with Pastor Henrik Skrzypkowski about Chelm Baptist Church's humanitarian efforts
If you are wondering how you can help the lives of those in Ukraine devastated by the war, BCA Poland is where I would urge you to start. Please consider supporting BCA Poland by visiting www.bcapoland.org.