“I felt such a presence of God. And the closer I got to the front lines, the stronger I experienced Him. When people ask me, ‘How can you go? Aren’t you afraid?’ all I can say is that I’m ready to give my life for this. I’m not afraid to give my life, alongside my men, my people, just as they are not afraid to give their life for me and for our country.”
Meet Valentyna Pavsyukova, a native Ukrainian who came to America in 2002, at the tender age of 18. Five years later, motivated by her new found faith, she started Chalice of Mercy, a nonprofit to help people in her home country. Since the Russian invasion in February of 2022, Valentyna and her team have worked relentlessly to provide medical relief supplies for doctors on the front lines.
Partnering with MATTER, Chalice of Mercy has shipped over $50 million in medical supplies that have saved hundreds of thousands of military and civilian lives. Earlier this year, she spent six months in Zaporozhia, her beloved hometown and ground zero in the brutal battle against Russia.
Bringing truckloads of essential supplies to triage centers along the front lines was difficult and dangerous work. “Being in war zones we had to wear bullet proof jackets and helmets. The rockets were flying so low over our heads we could read the numbers and letters on them. We could hear their explosions short distances away while we were unloading the supplies from our truck.”
Despite the risks to their safety, they persevered. “The doctors are just so happy when they get these supplies. They’re not afraid to go and work on the front lines, but they want to go prepared. Without these essential items, they lose so many soldiers. But with the supplies we can give them, they can sew up bodies, save limbs, do clean amputations, everything they need to keep the young men alive until they can be transported to a larger facility away from the fighting.”
Now back in the United States, Valentyna’s mission continues. Earlier this week, she and several Ukrainian and MATTER volunteers were in the MATTER warehouse sorting through thirty pallets of medical supplies that were generously donated by MATTER’s hospital partners across the country. If all goes according to plan, the items will arrive in Ukraine by Christmas.
‘My gratitude to everyone who is helping. I know there are hospitals who donated the items, there are also people who have donated the shipping costs. I’m very deeply thankful. This is very important because peace in my world can’t exist until there’s peace everywhere. We can’t run from that. God is calling us to extend our heart, our presence, to the others in need. I cannot rest until my country is in peace.”
MATTER is honored to partner with courageous and compassionate individuals like Valentyna and her team at Chalice of Mercy. And we thank our amazing hospital partners who generously donate their excess equipment and supplies to MATTER. By repurposing them to triage hospitals on the front lines in Ukraine, or to remote clinics in Africa, or even to nursing schools in America, these items are able to continue saving lives instead of decaying in a landfill and polluting our environment.
See Valentyna talk about her mission of saving lives on the front lines of the war in Ukraine.