ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — A Central Florida couple is home safe after a recent humanitarian trip to Ukraine. Julia and Oleg Kostyuk, who are both from Ukraine and whose family still resides in the country, delivered the much-needed medication and medical supplies donated by AdventHealth Global Missions.
“Once the war started in Ukraine my heart was breaking. I am originally from Ukraine; I have family and friends there. To see them go through so much pain, so much devastation really touched my core. So, I knew I had to do something,” said Julia Kostyuk. “We started to do fundraising to send money to Ukraine. Then we wanted to do more.”
A family nurse practitioner by trade, Julia contacted some doctors in Ukraine and was able to connect with team members at the Angelia Clinic, which is now split between its original location in Kyiv and a site farther from the military action, in the western Ukraine city of Chernivtsi.
“The staff at the Angelia Clinic spoke about the huge need of medication like insulin, antibiotics, sleeping medication, to help the people sleep after so much trauma, they have lost their homes, their lives have been broken,” she.
The Global Missions team donated the lifesaving medication.
“We knew we needed to partner with Julia and Oleg; it was an easy decision,” said Monty Jacobs, director of AdventHealth Global Missions. “This was an opportunity for us to be able to provide the aid to someone from our Central Florida community, who was going to deliver the supplies directly to the people in need.”
The couple travelled to Romania and then crossed the border on foot. During the six-day trip, they visited two Adventist clinics, a refugee facility and an orphanage camp in Ukraine.
“The trauma that we see especially, when it comes to children, is significant and is so immense,” said Oleg Kostyuk, a professor of religion at AdventHealth University. “We needed to do something about it. Not just pray, not just provide emotional and spiritual support. We needed to act and be the feet and hands of Jesus.”
As the invasion of Ukraine continues, the need for critical medical supplies and financial donations will continue to grow.
“We may be an ocean away, we may be far from Ukraine, but together we can make a difference and a small deed is a very big deal for someone in Ukraine right now,” said Julia Kostyuk.
The Kostyuks are planning to return to Ukraine with additional aid later this year.
To learn more about AdventHealth’s relief efforts, please visit AdventHealth.com/UkraineRelief.