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When Vance went in for knee surgery, he expected it to be a routine procedure with a painful but routine recovery. What happened was anything but—and it had nothing to do with his knee.
When Vance came out of anesthesia, he learned that Russia had launched an invasion on Ukraine while he was under. After coming home from the hospital, he lay on the couch with his leg up as instructed, shocked.
“Vance, we have to do something to help the Ukrainian refugees!” his wife Jenn urged.
“I know,” he responded, staring at his leg. He couldn’t move.
Jenn jumped into action, not only keeping up with their household routine, but also handling the physical legwork of responding to the crisis—something Vance could not do in his current state.
Thankfully, there was something Vance could do, so he too jumped into action (just not literally). He began to handle logistics for the relief efforts. And while he couldn’t physically collect and deliver relief supplies, he could coordinate others who could do the work. As time went on, Vance realized how providential it was that he wasn’t mobile—almost as if God had wanted him physically incapacitated for this very time and reason.
“I could have come out of the hospital and it be business as usual,” he admits. “But now I feel like I can bring my best—I am forced to focus on what I can do.”
“[It] would not [have been] as good a use of my energy and time actually going around making deliveries,” he continues. “If I didn’t have a bum knee, I would probably be doing what I’m doing now but between supply runs and deliveries, which would in reality be a horrible idea. It’s already intense as it is.”
So instead, he is coordinating the activity from home. Daily, he is in touch with the leadership of multiple Christian organizations in Poland and across the border in Ukraine. His church is also partnered with a local preschool—the only Christian preschool in his city of over half a million—that is working with them to house refugees in the vacant areas of its four-story building.
They were expecting to house 14 people in this building that had three showers. But then the government recognized what they were doing and sent a message: “Please be prepared to receive up to 30 people over the next few days.”
Vance is encouraged at how he sees Christians rising to the occasion and helping to meet the needs that keep coming. “Needs are popping up, and at the same time, people are popping up asking how they can address these needs,” he shares.
Housing 30 people instead of the 14 they felt would max out their available space sounds daunting. But Vance is excited.
“God is sending people to us in accordance with our willingness, not our capacity,” he says. “People are living the Word right now. Conversations are happening. Discipleship is happening…being lived out. [It’s] a test of how disciples love their neighbor. I’m grateful to be a conduit of His grace!”