Californian will return to rescue Ukrainians


Jeff Thompson, Mercy Projects founder (, recently spoke

Jeff and Paula Thompson at home in California

at a public forum about his five weeks in Ukraine rescuing people from war-torn locations.

After gathering more resources, Thompson is scheduled to return to Ukraine in the next few days to continue the rescue efforts and provide food and medicine in hard-to-reach areas.

Mercy Projects has been overseeing about a dozen ministry sites in Ukraine for decades. They include an office in Kyiv, a center for special needs children in Konotop, a ministry facility near Chernobyl, an orphanage, camp, and other outreaches throughout the country.

Thompson left for Ukraine shortly after the war started to rescue Mercy Project staffers from harm. He quickly gathered a team and was on the ground within days.

“I immediately saw the magnitude of the  refugee crisis in Hungary and Poland,” Thompson said. “I began using our Mercy Projects human and financial resources to alleviate some of that suffering. I’m thankful for those in the Mercy Projects network who were on the ground with me to help in person and those who gave financially to make it happen. Each one made a difference.”

It was not long before Thompson and his team were getting calls to rescue others besides staffers. Thompson bought additional vans, which could travel the roads with less risk of drawing Russian fire. He and team members took food and medical supplies into high-risk areas and brought out trapped women and children who had no other means of escape. The husbands and fathers stayed behind to fight the Russians.

Thompson is heading back to Ukraine in a few days. “There is still a tremendous amount of work to do,” he said. “We will be delivering more food and medicine with our vans and helping more people escape from high-risk areas. Your prayers and donations are making it possible.”

Thompson reported on the history of Ukraine and how it came under Russian dominance under the Czar and was oppressed by Stalin during the Soviet era. However, he was clear to point out that today, Ukrainians do not identify as Russians. They have been a separate nation since 1992, along with other countries formerly part of the post-World War 2 Soviet bloc, like Poland, Hungary, Serbia, and others.

He emphasized that Ukraine has its own national identity and government, and the people have no desire to come under the domination of Russia again. There is a Russian-fueled separatist group in the Donbas Region (northeast Ukraine), but these renegade groups do not represent Ukrainian values.

Thompson said, “Russia has no say whether or not Ukraine joins NATO. Putin is just trying to bully a sovereign nation.” Thompson added, “To their credit, the Ukrainians would like to be a neutral country, like Switzerland, but they have been forced into defending themselves against the savage Russian invasion. Ukraine is a nation of heroes.”

As a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), it’s not Mercy Project’s role to get involved in the politics of the war. Mercy Projects is attempting to offer support to victims in the name of Christ.


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