Ukrainian Pentecostal Church members from Jessamine County return from humanitarian mission in Ukraine
The group delivered medical supplies and bulletproof vests to volunteers working in 'hot spots'
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A member of the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church in Jessamine County is back home and safe after a humanitarian trip to his homeland where he helped deliver much-needed medical supplies and bullet proof vests to volunteers working in ‘hot spots’ in Ukraine.
Last week Victor Selepina and a group of men from the church left behind family and friends on a mission trip that they all knew was dangerous.
After landing in Poland, the group made its way to the Ukrainian border; however, before they could cross, there was a 23-hour obstacle in the way.
“We actually had to completely disassemble our bullet proof vests, so the actual metal or steel is separate. We had 96 of them,” explains Selepina.
Hotels close the border were hard to come by according to Selepina because many people left everything to run to safety.
“I think it was like 2:00 a.m. and people were crossing the border on foot. You could see a crowd of 30-to-40 people. They were all standing there all trying to warm-up with young children,” explains Selepina.
During the week, the group traveled to four different hot spots in the country. At one point, the group stopped at a warehouse to buy food and discovered they had run out of donation money, coming up about $9,000 short.
“The supplier was able to hold the supply of the noodles and he said, “I’m going to release it and you can give it to the people and whenever you have the money, you can forward it to us,””explains Selepina.
Selepina was born in Ukraine. He moved with his family to the United States when he was eight and now calls central Kentucky home. When he arrived home Friday from the humanitarian aid trip, the father of five received a warm welcome home.
“I couldn’t go to bed for some reason so when he came in I still stayed up and I gave him a big hug,” says Nicholas Selepina, Victor’s 9 year old son.
While Selepina says he has no immediate plans to return to Ukraine, he hopes to stay involved and wants to remind people relief efforts don’t require much, other than the desire to help.