Ukraine (MNN) — It’s safe to say we’re all aware of the Ukraine crisis by now, whether we’re tracking every update or we know the bare minimum. See our Ukraine coverage here.
You may not have heard how Russia’s invasion affected Deaf people in Ukraine. Stacey McKenzie of DeafBridge says her Deaf husband Chris is on the ground helping Deaf refugees escape war zones.
“We have been missionaries with different organizations in the past and lived in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, [in] 2015. That, thankfully, is one city that hasn’t been hit, and is 20 kilometers from the Romanian border, so that is serving as our hub (to get Deaf people out),” Stacey McKenzie says.
How to help Deaf refugees
You may wonder – if the Deaf cannot hear air raid sirens or radio warnings, how can they communicate with aid groups like DeafBridge?
“Right now, we’re still able to communicate through text [and] video apps,” McKenzie says.
“A lot of us use an app called Viber. The pastor and another key contact person we’re working with inside Ukraine have different apps and ways to communicate with the Deaf people there.”
DeafBridge and its local partners provide transportation for Deaf who want to leave Ukraine, and supplies to those who cannot. Each encounter shows the love of Christ in action, and provides a chance to introduce Deaf to Jesus.
“Pray that our communication will stay strong, and we’ll be able to locate the Deaf who still need to be evacuated,” McKenzie requests.
“More people have been contacting us from Eastern Ukraine and Odessa and some of the harder-hit areas.”
DeafBridge and its partners operate nine “rescue” vans, delivering supplies to Deaf people in need and bringing those who want to leave to the border. Ask the Lord to protect the drivers of these vans, and pray for funding so these operations can continue.
Header image depicts a Deaf Ukrainian who received aid supplies from believers. (Photo courtesy of DeafBridge)