MARTINSBURG – Pastor Tim Guerino from the Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission is headed overseas with a team to provide aid, prayer and help in the Ukrainian crisis.
An old friend, also a pastor who has been running For God’s Children International overseas since the early 1990s, emailed Guerino recently when the war in Ukraine began.
“When all of this happened, he emailed me, and I told him I could help—they need a lot of help over there right now,” Guerino said. “This may sound silly to some people, but I think pouring in as Christians and doing the work of God’s people at this point in time — we are not judging anybody whether they are Russian or Ukrainian — I think that would do more to end the war over there than anything.”
Guerino explained that thousands of people are pouring into these countries, and they are overwhelmed. As a result, he’ll be using some vacation time to take this trip—one that he believes is close to the mission of the Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission.
“I am a missionary here. We are a mission, not a church. Our mission here is to help the homeless and the hurting,” Guerino said. “Basically, I am expanding that mission to the homeless and hurting now overseas.”
When he approached the board of directors to discuss going overseas, Guerino said he expected some pushback. He explained that he shared what was on his heart to do, and the board responded by saying, “How much time do you need?”
“We are going over there, and we are going to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” Guerino said.
Leaving on Saturday, Guerino will be traveling with a team that includes a pastor friend who speaks both Ukrainian and Russian and three others with medical backgrounds.
“We will be serving the Lord wherever is needed. We do have other team members over there already, so we will plug into whatever they tell us to do and hit the ground running,” he explained. “We will be doing a lot of crisis counseling, too, because a lot of the people are traumatized and in shock. We will be spending a lot of time sitting, praying with people, talking with people, helping them through their grief, helping them get plugged into the right services or get out of where they are at and into a safe environment.”
Guerino explained that the team will be in some “hot zones” but will continue doing what it can to help.
“I figured I had the time to go. The mission board has been so gracious. I have to give them a lot of credit because they have been so great in allowing me to take this time,” he said. “Doors have been opening up in so many ways.”
Guerino explained that he will be gone for two weeks, possibly more depending on circumstances overseas.
“There are a lot of people who have helped so far,” he said. “I am so humbled by the support of the community and again the mission board and Crossroads Church. I have had a lot of people step up and give.”
Guerino has to raise $5,000 to go overseas and has raised a portion of it so far. He is currently raising the rest of the funds that will pay for supplies and plane tickets.
If someone would like to contribute to the trip, Guerino said to write a check to the Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission and in the memo section to write ‘For: The Ukrainian Mission Trip.’
“Our motto at the Rescue Mission is ‘Hope lives here,’ so we are going to take that same hope over there,” Guerino said. “We are going to get in there and overwhelm those folks with as much love, grace and mercy as possible. We will minister to whoever we come across. We hope that we can cover people with prayers. We ask people to pray for many opportunities for us to minister.”