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March 5, 2022 3:30 am
Russia's brutal attack on Ukraine has created outrage and horror worldwide. Spotlighting those with disabilities and their caregivers, Joni Eareckson Tada shares how her organization is helping individuals fleeing from Ukraine to Poland. Well acquainted with suffering and challenges, Joni shares her insights and faith in our frank discussion about these heartbreaking events.
To help Joni's organization with this effort, please visit www.joniandfriends.org
Health strong as you can for someone who isn't this what about us equipping you to do this journey, healthier, and dare I say it more joyful in all that can be found in the principles of Scripture that support us through this see difficult things were going to experience these things were not expressible. Speaking of which, I want to transfer little bit of what we've been talking about it and talk to someone very special to me.
She has been such a dear sister and through all the stuff with Gracie that I'm going through right now in Denver and just a wonderful mentor to me as I have stepped out of the stages and shared the message ugly. God is put on my heart right now on her heart like so many ways heavy of what's going on Ukraine and I want her to share what her organization is doing and how you could pray how you could be involved.
How you can connect. This is John Erickson taught us a jolly welcome to the program so good to be with you and like many of their (five been praying about great and you stand by her hospital bed, now that we continue to remember you and your wife and our intercession. Thank you very much. We had some very meaningful times with you in the hospital with this of this journey and so there just incredibly moving to see how God knits our hearts together and gives us strength for the day and bright hope for tomorrow and you are such a big part of that your heart is heavy right now because of what's going on there with the whole world is watching this aghast and you bring a different perspective than most and with your teams and all the work. This Quran talk a little bit about what's going on Ukraine with individuals with disabilities locator and I when I served on the ability advisory committee to the US State Department. We did many studies and found out that in times of great conflict in times of war. It is that people with disabilities, the elderly, those with fragile medical condition.
The most vulnerable being the one who are often forgotten most frequently abandoned and left behind and we are seeing that happen. Unfortunately in Ukraine about 2.6 million people with disability in Ukraine and of course that includes a lot of family members a lot of caregivers and they are making as best they can. The best on that, so to speak, as methyl market strike and invasion continues our ministry. Johnny and Fran helped organize an evacuation, people with disabilities. A small group, only 35 but nevertheless they were able to make it to the Polish border quadriplegic paraplegic young people with cerebral palsy and their caregivers. I'm happy that five we were able to get him across the Polish border in good time. Jumping ahead of the long queue that was waiting to bear at the Polish border. But when the officials called the great need of these people disabilities, the elderly and their caregivers. They gave us clear, access, and I'm happy that I that this group is now been relocated into the Netherland. I welcoming home where there are blankets and medical supply things as simple yet as necessary and popular drainage bag diapers again offered people with disability. We are now in the process of working with our in country partners in Ukraine to get a second evacuation of people with disabilities out only scratching the as I said there are 2.6 million people with disabilities still in Ukraine and were calling on the church all across Ukraine. Not to forget those disabled in the community, especially when there are evacuations from major studies. A lot of the people disabilities. The caregiver there up on the fifth, sixth, seventh floor apartment building and I just can't jump out of bed went down the stairs, rushed out the door and make a dash for the border. I can't do that asking the church league is not to forget not to abandon caregivers and their charges.
In these times of the critical evacuation from major city and were asking for prayer that caregivers, especially in facilities that serve disabled orphans not abandon their charges as well when there is a chronic such as we are staying in some cities in eastern Ukraine. A lot of the staff people abandon their posts at care facility, fake deal more urgent need to be with their own families to help evacuate them and that leaves these people left behind and very vulnerable tenuous situation so please I'm asking our friends listening to not only play for the church that it remember the most vulnerable. But to join with us in this effort for your prayers and if you want to exist financially, by all main visit my Facebook page at giant Erickson Entrada and we are purchasing from 530: any remaining appetite to the border and we are meeting our in country partners there at the border to make transfers catheters diapers medicine the sorts of things that people disabilities need times of crisis.
So that's the update Peter and it's pretty urgent. The Russian army is pretty worthless sometimes with her not verified, but we have heard that the Russian on the is using the elderly and children with Down syndrome as shields so that the Ukrainian freedom fighters cannot counter attack so that a tireless situation as well. You know, when you were talking about you. The people at the border solve this group of people coming who has such afflictions. It reminds me that passage in Matthew when Jesus looked out of the crowds of the solve delaying the blind in one translation is the only translation that actually refers to those missing limbs and courses of husband of somebody was missing two limbs.
I resonate deeply with you would use this Jesus looked at him such compassion over them and I think that's something that we could all unite is that those who are seeing this will will be moved with compassion a you we have common grace in this world that God is extended common grace and I I have heard enough.
Seeing several news reports that there were many Russian soldiers who are aghast about this, that they're not wanting to do so. There there trapped between their military service and and their humanity and asking also for us to specifically pray that more and more will will see that this is this is wrong. Johnny is it you Gracie is in the hospital now. I can imagine having to evacuate her. She would make it in and were spoiled here in America because we have you know all types of modern facilities and so forth. But try to push somebody in a wheelchair on streets that don't have a lot of cutouts in wheelchair ramps and think such three-headed cobblestones and things that it it II can only I could barely imagine the fear and the panic that is going on and I appreciate very much that your team as they are the and I know I'm asking for folks that are listed today to really literally lift them up in prayer but also prayerfully consider supporting this. I've known Johnny for a long time and what she does with her outreaches. Whether it's through wheels for the world.
Her wheelchair ministry weathers through the family retreats. All these things Adele here they are right in the thick of this helping was such a thing such as catheters and diapers and you all. This audience understands how important those things are, and I'm asking for United prayerfully consider this Johnny share with us a bit more on your heart on this and and you know somebody who lives with significant disabilities. You know what what you pray in this. What Scriptures are you and miss you in your heart just chewing on to keep you sustained in this as you watch this because you understand this plight invoice. Very few can well chapter 4 verse eight Peter incredible, though we are hard pressed on all sides.
We are not crushed at God that the caregivers to live in Ukraine. Those Ukrainians with disabilities, the elderly, and that they not that although they are hard-pressed on all sides but they not give up. They not despair that they not plummet into hopelessness because they got the promise that if they trust in God. They will not be clashed and you mentioned a good point. A moment ago. Talk about compassion, the compassionate, some Russian soldiers and certainly the compassion of those Polish border officials who who allowed our group safe passage and quick passage across the border. I think also of the compassion of the people in the Netherlands good friends about all of them opened up their homes to be 35 individuals that's going to be the miracle in this conflict God are huge miracle in Ukraine and I've been a part of that miracle may well come from people's hearts being turned back. Compassion will overwhelm them that they will take great pity and they'll observe that the needs of the Ukrainian people different relics of Ukraine people. The fact that they are valiantly standing strong in resisting a twinkle. Why at their borders and who knows what God will do, but I'm praying for a miracle because Peter, I simply bear the thought of elderly people disabled or children with disabilities adult paraplegic, quadriplegic stuck on the floors of apartment buildings because they can't get out.
They can't take that had run out of the city. When the bombs start falling can I can even imagine the anxiety and terror which might be hard. Pray for compassion in a big way. Indeed, Johnny, I want you to know how meaningful it is to me personally how you've been such a source of encouragement to Gracie and me through these difficult times, and if you think that somehow we don't have enough to be what what can we do against such overwhelming odds. It starts with one person sharing the hope of Christ with one other person.
Let God take care of the things he thinks okay. Be faithful to just share your own relationship with Christ and communicate that to the best of your abilities. Once we got to go to Johnny and friends.com difference.com help. Part of what's happening here Johnny, thanks so much for being here today