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*From our team member on the ground in Poland*

It is easy to slip into being so focused on the work on the ground in #disaster relief that I forget the lives that are truly touched by the work we do. Then I meet people like my friend, Yaryna.

A big need in this humanity crisis is for translators. #Polish- #Ukrainian- English speakers are a rare find & highly recognized for what they do. I’m a pretty typical American & sadly barely even speak English well. My Hawaiian pidgin doesn’t cut it on the cobblestone streets of #Przemsyl, Poland. But, translators are priceless.

Let me introduce you to my friend, Yaryna. She was referred to me by my friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s grandma’s neighbor’s cousin (ok, not quite, but close). We never met prior to her agreeing to meet me in #Krakow when we arrived. This amazing woman is more accomplished than what I ever could have imagined at her age.

Yaryna speaks, not 2, not 3, but FOUR languages. And, she’s Ukrainian & going to school in #Poland. She was visiting her family in #Ukraine when the war came into their country. Her parents made the heart wrenching decision to send her sister back with her to Poland. Their mother said goodbye to them both at the train station. Yaryna stated her mother is often in tears when they talk. I honestly cannot imagine what Yaryna’s mother went through as she said goodbye to her beautiful daughters. Her parents are safe now, but she has extended family in Kyiv who have not been able to leave.

Yaryna & other Ukrainians like her around the world, are proud of their country. They’re proud of their president. And they hold hope. And their hope is contagious. Yaryna has inspired our intire team with her resolve & kindness.

We hold out hope with her. I pray for my friend. I pray for her family. I pray for the people of Ukraine. And I pray for our world. She gives me hope for our future.


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