BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — CityServe, a faith-based international non-profit founded in Bakersfield, is at the border between Ukraine and Poland assisting refugees fleeing the war in their homeland.
CityServe co-founder Wendell Vinson, senior pastor at Canyon Hills Church, has been giving us an update on the situation every day. Vinson said considering the chaos and terror the refugees have been living with, they appear to be holding up fairly well, especially compared to their countrymen still trapped in besieged cities in Ukraine where the humanitarian crisis is escalating.
“We’re at the train station near the border between Poland and Ukraine, where Ukrainian citizens have crossed the border and [are] waiting to board a train to get to family and or friends somewhere further into Europe,” Vinson said. “Thanks so much, Jim, KGET and Kern County for helping us get the word out and to mobilize people to pray and to respond.”
Still, most of these people have crossed the border with what they could pack into a suitcase or backpack, leaving their worldly possessions behind. Certainly a grim situation for anyone.
But, one man is doing what he can to lift the spirits of these exhausted refugees. He towed his grand piano by trailer from his home in Poland to play music for refugees at this border crossing.
“Pray for these good Polish people who’ve come here to serve,” Vinson said. “They are good neighbors.”
CityServe International executive director Karl Hargestam said they are moving food across the border, as it is still open for people in Ukraine.
“Food is getting scarce, especially in the war zone areas,” Hargestam said. “What we’re shipping in right now is moving through the church networks.”
Wednesday, a 747 jumbo jet owned by the United Parcel Service will touch down in Warsaw, Poland. The planes will offload one million meals to be distributed to churches near the border that are CityServe partners and are caring for Ukrainian refugees. The flight was donated to CityServe by UPS.
We hope to have more updates from our Bakersfield CityServe team as this humanitarian mission continues to unfold.