From Dal and Beth Stanton (MTW Ukraine Missionaries now in Golden, Colorado): This story started in July (See: Critically Needed Water Filters on the Way to Mycolaev) and now it’s September and the water filters that started here in Denver have arrived in Mycolaev. Beth and I are thankful that we’ve been able to help and amazed at the wisdom and grace in God’s providence.
We ‘serendipitously’ came into contact with individuals in the Denver area who were desirous of leveraging their resources to help the people in Ukraine. How did God bring us into contact with these people? A VBS project in a local church was raising money to send water filters to Ukraine. Our granddaughter was in attendance because her other grandfather was the pastor of the church. Our daughter, Jocelyn, met the lady who was sponsoring the project when she was there to pick up Sandler. Jocelyn later told us that this lady wanted to meet us after Jocelyn shared with the lady that her folks had just returned from Krakow where they were helping with the efforts to help Ukraine.
Beth and I later met this lady who was leveraging her NGO as a vehicle to help Ukraine. She invited two other leaders in Denver who were doing the same. One of these persons in particular was John DeYoung, CEO of the company he had started which produced water filters and back packs – the original focus of the company was to sell these versatile water filters to Colorado hikers and campers.
As a believer, John not only wanted to develop a successful business, VivoBlu, but he soon realized that the need for pure drinking water was a universal need, especially in third-world countries. This prompted John to create a non-profit NGO called, ‘Water for All’, with the aim of his water filter system to do more than simply make a profit.
Realizing that pure drinking water was increasingly a critical need in Ukraine, especially in the eastern and southern regions, we dialoged with John about acquiring 225 water filters with backpacks as well. We met John at his company warehouse where he demonstrated the filters for us. One of the most attractive characteristics of his patented filtering system in comparison to other options, is that the filters can be washed and reused, lasting up to 3 years. We packed crates with the water filters and medical supplies from Dr. Wiley Smith, and we headed to Krakow.
The amazing thing that we have seen God do through the Crates for Ukraine program is that churches have rallied to the appeal to help. What seemed at first like a ‘drop in the bucket’ compared to the extreme needs of war-torn Ukraine, has turned more into a river of hope as courier after courier arrived in Krakow, Poland, bringing so many crates packed with supplies so desperately needed. After spending over 3 months serving in Krakow as part of the MTW Crisis Response Team, it was a joy to return to Krakow, but this time bringing crates full of water filters heading for Mycolaev where the need for drinking water is acute.
The other amazing thing that God is doing through His Church in Ukraine is leveraging local churches to transport the crates that churches in the US and Europe brought to Krakow. From Krakow, crates are transported to L’viv, and from the L’viv church, supplies are moved further to where the needs are the greatest. From L’viv our crates were transported to Mycolaev. In Mycolaev, Pastor Yxxxx took the water filters and is distributing them to the needy in his community and to those seeking to protect his community.
When Pastor Yxxxx sent the picture above, our hearts beat for joy. A soldier was examining the water filter and accompanying backpack making it much easier to transport and use in the field. We understand fully that this man is not just ‘a’ soldier, but ‘our’ soldier. We understand that he is also a father, a brother, a son, a youth group leader, an elder, a church member, and a choir member – seeking to protect the women, children and elderly who are in harm’s way. He also is seeking to remain free – free from Russian tyranny and atrocities.
We are grateful to the Lord that the water filters will enable our soldiers, along with women, children and elderly to drink clean water.
Thank you, Lord.