'Our Part, Your Part and God's Part' Brings Ukrainians Much-Needed Relief From the Horrors of War

Pastor Bill Wilson with a mother who held her 1-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy just before boarding a bus to leave Ukraine. (Metro World Child)
Dr. Bill Wilson, founder and senior pastor of Metro World Child, the largest Sunday school in the world, has returned to the United States from a trip to Ukraine and has brought with him compelling, real-life stories from the worn-torn country and a three-level approach to help the devastated people there.

While most charities or ministries have been working outside Ukraine in the bordering countries with refugees, Wilson went into Ukraine to discover the real, personal needs of its people as well as to help evacuate orphans, children and women and bring supplies into the country.

"Having been on the ground there in Ukraine, I feel like I can cut through the differences between fact and fiction, political noise and sound bites, and those who just want their name on a banner," Wilson said. "That's why I went there. I needed to be confident in how and why I communicate to people, what the needs are and what can be done over the long term."

Here is MWC's three-level approach, which Wilson and his team implemented on the ground in Ukraine. It involves MWC, Christians and God. Wilson called it, "Our Part, Your Part and His Part."

"The heavy lifting has just begun," Wilson says.

The first two parts are the "Power of Partnership" that exist between Metro World Child (Our Part) and the supporters (Your Part) as Wilson always said and often preached in the past 50 years in the full-time ministry.

"We can't do what we do without our supporters and supporting churches around the world. We are their missionaries," Wilson said.

MWC has been working on three areas inside Ukraine since the war broke out:

— Rescue and relocation.

— Food supplies.

— Body armor and helmet.

Wilson also invited Christians to join him and MWC to help Ukraine in these three practical areas.

1. Rescue and relocation: "That's a very practical thing and extremely important at this point. The buses are the biggest tool to get the extractions done," Wilson says. Last week, MWC was able to facilitate the evacuation of three orphanages; one that specifically dealt with handicapped children. According to Wilson, calls are coming in to their Ukraine partner center from other towns and villages that are begging for help. They've rented buses, gotten drivers and did their best to find enough fuel to make the trips.

To rent a bus for a one-way trip costs between $1,200 to $1,300. Then they drive the people back to Uzhhorod to MWC's partner center. Most of the requests MWC has received are on the north, middle and south sides of the country. Each bus carries up to 40 people. It also costs about $1,100 in fuel to make the run. It's close to the same amount of money to get them out of the country.

2. Food supplies: MWC volunteers are working in Switzerland and the U.K. They are renting trucks themselves and undertaking food drives in their towns, villages and their churches. They load the trucks and drive themselves through Slovakia across the border into Ukraine to Uzhhorod, where MWC's main supply center is.

As supply routes are constantly getting cut off, MWC is working with trucking companies and drivers to get supplies to its partner supply center in Uzhhoro in western Ukraine. The supplies are then loaded on smaller trucks and delivered to the trouble spots around the country that are more difficult to reach. Items like soup, bread, baby food, bottled water and diapers are the bare necessities. Wilson called it the "soup, soap and hope" department.

3. Body armor and helmets: Wilson drove throughout the nation and saw many 18- and 19-year-old young men guarding checkpoints to highways and communities without any body armor or minimal protection. A Christian businessman in Austria has linked him with a manufacturer that produces body armor and kevlar helmets that can meet those needs. Wilson calls this part of Metro's work, "Putting on the Full Armor of God."

"Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11, KJV).

"To manufacture a bulletproof vest is $268, which will stop a .308 round, and it will be $45 for a helmet," Wilson says. "That's an extremely good price and almost at cost. This manufacturer will get these vests and helmets into Poland and across the border to be distributed to the young men that need them immediately. However, last is the most important part—it's His part." MWC's first batch of 250 bulletproof vests and 230 helmets has gone through Poland and been distributed to the troops in Ukraine.

Wilson procured the last seat in a van through his military contact to go to Kyiv, where he was going to help an orphanage there. When all three vehicles in the convoy gathered in an abandoned gas station and got to the final checkpoint before entering Kyiv, a Russian sniper shot a journalist in the head riding in the front vehicle. If Wilson had been on the last van in the last seat, he would have been caught up in that attack.

"After I've done this for so long and been in some of the most difficult situations in the world, I've learned when I do my part, God is still faithful to do His part," Wilson says. "He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. I'm a living testimony to that. That's why I continue to do my part."

"I'm always willing to take the last seat," Wilson says.

Wilson encourages Christians to be part of this three-level approach to help to save the children and women in Ukraine. Visit Metro World Child's website at mwc.org/ukraine, or call MWC's U.S. office at 718-453-3352.

Metro World Child is a global, faith-based humanitarian organization dedicated to serving children throughout New York City, various urban centers and rural communities around the world. MWC was founded in 1980 in Brooklyn, New York, by Rev. Dr. Bill Wilson. His original passion when he moved to New York was to reach at-risk, inner-city children exposed to violence, crime, drugs, gangs, neglect and poverty. As an abandoned child himself by his alcoholic mom when he was 12 at a street corner in St. Petersburg, Florida, he knows the desperation of hopelessness at a young age. His heart was to reach children through high-impact, fun and exciting Sunday school services. Now, 40 years later, MWC is still headquartered in the heart of Brooklyn, reaching thousands of inner-city children and their families through fun and engaging Sunday school services, personal visitation and mentorship programs in the five boroughs of New York City. Before COVID, MWC served on average over 20,000 children in New York each week. Its global outreach now is much greater; the ministry is currently in a total of 20 countries, reaching over 250,000 children weekly. MWC is now the largest Sunday school in the world.

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