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The Nelga Family

Imagine your life as it is now. Maybe you are drinking a cup of coffee in your PJs on the couch, or getting ready for work while you read this. It may be time to drop the kids off at school, make a quick trip to the local grocery store, and swing by to get gas after work. You roll your eyes because your kids are fighting over one of their many toys, or who will let the dog out. You are overwhelmed with the stress of end-of-year school programs, friends filling your homes for the summer, and plans to get the camper or cabin ready.

I hired David to do some exterior work on my home. I didn’t know him or his story, but God continued to close the doors of other contractors and left his open. On day one, we realized that we had much in common and the conversations with our family grew deeper discussing Jesus, our values, and ultimately learning about his Ukrainian family. David is a first-generation American with Ukrainian immigrant parents. He is deeply rooted and connected to the Slavic community and church. He shared that he had Ukrainian refugees living in his basement. We had questions about the war and the needs, and David articulated the reality of the situation with so much love and passion for his people. God immediately started to work.

Although the war had been going on for some time, this February it took a major turn. The invasion of Ukraine forced millions of people and families out. At least one-third of the population has been displaced in an effort to save and protect their families. Airports, schools, stores, factories, and residential buildings have been destroyed. Gas stations and stores are nearly empty. People are living in fear and innocent civilians and children are being killed.

Meet the Nelga Family. Father Igor age 33, Mother Lyuba age 32, Grandmother Ivanna age 52, Daughters Asya, Anastasia, Katarina, Alina, and Violetta ages 10, 8, 7, 5, and 4, and sons Daniel age 6, and David age 3.

Families like the Nelga’s were forced to make a choice to protect their children and flee Ukraine. They flew from Ukraine to Poland, to Mexico, and finally made it to the United States to stay with their connections here. Think about this. That is 10 plane tickets, multiple times. The sacrifice and opportunity to get here was a stretch and something many cannot do. The Nelga’s quickly were welcomed by David, his wife, and their church.

On day two of the construction of our home, Dave brought Igor. He has been here ever since. Despite not knowing an ounce of English,( although it is coming…he said “thank you coffee” the other day, and told me my paint job looked “ok” yesterday. This made me grin ear to ear) Igor has worked hard. Day in and day out, consistent, kind, and grateful. The sound of Ukrainian worship songs fill our home. Despite the trauma and stress of getting one's family to an unfamiliar yet safe space, he smiles. He does a terrific job. He brings joy to our day.

Most of us can’t imagine leaving behind our pets, friends, relatives, jobs, homes, vehicles, and belongings to put all of our money into the escape. Your children wondering why, and needing to explain to them what is happening… sadness, loneliness, and the uncertain future. After landing on safe soil, having nothing. No car, home, phone, computer, toys, or simple everyday luxuries like a box of tools, or a way to transport yourself to a store.

They need our help. We need to help. If the roles were reversed, we would need theirs. God calls us to show up. Let’s knock their socks off.

Leviticus 19:34 “The foreigners residing among you must be treated as native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 10:18

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”

Mathew 25:35

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

John 15:12

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Hebrews 13: 1-2

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers. For by doing that, some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

My mission in starting this is to meet true needs and wants. I want to help them find relief, but I also want them to find joy. Igor’s family has provided me with a list of items that would truly be helpful. I want every penny to go towards setting them up for success here in the United States. Their needs range from phones so they can connect with each other, to a computer and software to learn English, to a freezer, tools, and simple toys like a doll for their daughter. Housing has now been covered, but they also need a car.

As you make it through your day, remember that their family would do anything right now to have the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life. They would love to be celebrating with their friends and family at the end of the school year. They wish for a mundane trip to the store. As they start over, let’s come together and help where it is truly needed.

The Nelga Family is the first family I’d like to help. There are many more families right here in our backyard, and I would love to support them as well. God has opened these doors, and now it is time to allow Him to work through us! Please consider donating and sharing with anyone that has the power to make an impact.

You can donate via our link or directly connect via email:


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Hi, I'm Kacie Ko

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