An American pastor is aiding those who have been wounded in the Russian invasion of Ukraine by supplying medical items and needs.
The Ukrainian army has an ally in an American pastor who provides combat field trauma supplies to help those who have been wounded in the ongoing fight against Russian forces who continue their invasion of Ukraine for almost four weeks now. Pastor Bill Devlin is a veteran of the Vietnam War and a Purple Heart recipient who now serves as an outreach pastor for Infinity Bible Church in Bronx, New York. He was invited to the war-stricken country by the Ukraine Army along with four other people, including three military veterans and an ABC News reporter.
The Christian Post reported that Devlin left the U.S. for Warsaw, Poland, on Saturday, after which he went on a "four-hour bus ride" to Ukraine, which he shared ended up to be a "12-hour bus ride."
"We went from Warsaw to the Polish-Ukrainian border and we were in a commercial bus with 45 other people," Devlin shared. "These were Ukrainians going back into Ukraine and then we were held up at the Poland-Ukraine border for two hours and then when we finally got into Ukraine, it was another hour and a half to Lviv."
According to CBC News, there are about two million internally displaced people in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, as per the United Nations. In Lviv, schools like the one white brick building in the suburbs used to house over a thousands students but now 86 people who fled from the eastern and southern borders of Ukraine have called it a temporary home. Schools all over Lviv are now being used as shelters.
Delvin arrived in Lviv at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, during which the American pastor began "working on getting battle combat trauma medical kids in from the U.S. and from Germany." He hoped that a shipment of the much needed supplies would arrive "within a week."
Together with the Ukrainian army and the Ukrainian Civil Defense Forces, Devlin is working to provide field trauma supplies, such as tourniquets to stop bleeding and Quikclot, which is "a medicine or a gauze that allows quick clotting on a traumatic wound from a gunshot or from shrapnel," which Devlin said "can save their lives."
Before leaving for Lviv, Devlin temporarily stayed at a military base in western Ukraine that was recently targeted by Russian missiles. Nine people died in the explosion. But the American pastor was not deterred, saying that "our safety is not a concern for us." Instead, he said that they were "more concerned with helping the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian Civil Defense Forces and also the Ukrainian Army."
Devlin said his mission in Ukraine is consistent with his "role as a pastor" to deliver "spiritual, emotional and psychological support" and to pray with people and share God's love and hope with them amid the most difficult times. The American pastor said he also met with Ukrainian Catholic leaders to bolster the role of the religious community in supporting the heavily impacted victims of the Russian invasion. He added that the Infinity Bible Church is "helping financially" to support his mission in Ukraine.