Igor Howard, the 23-year-old son of Pastor Kevin Howard of The Sanctuary church in Cleveland, is heading to Poland to help with the Ukrainian relief efforts. He is flying out of Houston on March 29 for a 90-day stay in Kraków, a Polish city located just 800 miles from the Polish/Ukrainian border.
Howard will be assisting Compassion Services International, a Missouri-based non-profit organization that provides global disaster relief.
Since Russia began its occupation of Ukraine just one month ago, Poland has welcomed roughly 2 million Ukrainian refugees, mostly women and children seeking shelter from the war while their husbands and adult sons remain in Ukraine.
“Some of them are standing in line at the Poland border, some for three days. A lot of the people coming out are telling us they are barely making it out with shoes and clothing,” said Rev. Kevin Howard.
To help Ukrainian refugees, CSI has secured a 75-room hotel in Kraków and Igor Howard will be “boots on the ground” for the organization, his dad said.
“Igor will be coordinating supplies and helping to manage all the needs of the refugees,” Howard said. “I am flying over with him to help him get settled in.”
According to Pastor Howard, CSI volunteers recently worked to remove three women and children from Ukraine, driving in with three vans to carry supplies in and bring them back to safety in Poland.
“They are involved in Pentecostal churches there,” Howard said of the refugees.
Igor, a Tarkington High School graduate, is a recent graduate from Texas A&M University where he earned a bachelor degree in economics. At A&M, he also was a cadet with the A&M Corps of Cadets.
“Igor has been home from college for a couple of months and has been spending a lot of time in the prayer room. He’s developed a desire to do something bigger than himself. I think he wants to do something for others and not just make life about him,” Rev. Howard said.
The Howards plan to update Bluebonnet News on the progress of their relief efforts once they arrive in Poland.
If you want to make a donation or assist in CSI’s relief efforts, go online to https://www.compassionservices.org/donate