LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – An organization based here in Lubbock is using its friendly ties to Eastern Europe to bring aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries. Almost 25 years ago, Randy and Callie Boyd ministered in Abilene and became involved in missions in Eastern Europe. They started their organization, Prepare International, to mentor and train people to become Christlike leaders around the world.
They have established relationships and connections with people in 25 countries over the past two decades. Some of them include Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic.
“It’s the fact that all of these relationships were already in place, so from the start it was like clockwork; everything fell together. And I think relationships are really what carry the kingdom anyway,” Callie Boyd said.
They use these connections to channel finances to help Ukrainians flee their homes.
“Just over a period of a few days, we’ve just been able to help in a pretty significant and significant way, in terms of helping, bringing people in, getting people in, getting them settled” , Drew Brown , director of international training, said.
More than two million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the invasion. More than 1.2 million refugees have fled to Poland, where Callie and Randy’s son Josiah Boyd lives.
“I don’t know if anyone was really expecting the full engagement this has become,” Josiah said on a Zoom call.
Callie said that when the war broke out, she was initially afraid for her son. But she says Jesus comforted her and told her that’s why they raised him the way they did. His family has lived in Krakow, Poland, for three and a half years, along one of the busiest routes he says refugees escape.
“You can just watch, and you have a mother who doesn’t speak the language with her two kids, or three kids, or whatever, and she has no choice. And then, where will she turn? Josiah said.
Some of Boyd’s friends-turned-family chose to stay in Ukraine to help those defending their home and lead those trying to flee.
“It’s not just people; we see faces. You know, these are some of the heroes. It’s not about whether we’re going to help. We will help. It’s our family; they are not just friends. They are our family. And I think when we walk away from all the voices and all the politics, we just want to help people. And I think that’s the key. It’s the heart of Jesus,” Callie said.
Josiah spends most of her days on the phone connecting people and supplies. Her church is working with the city government to set up a community center. Prepare International raises funds to support leaders and pastors on the ground, with small churches on the border providing overnight stays and longer-term accommodation for refugees.
“My prayer is that people don’t forget these things are happening. I pray it ends tomorrow, and I pray we remember again because Ukraine will need a lot of help for a long time,” Josiah said.
Brown says you can help by donating on the Prepare International website to the Ukraine Relief Fund. He says all the money will go directly to leaders on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries, and there are no administrative costs. Josiah says $600 can pay for housing a family of three to four for a month.
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