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November 20, 2023

Old Canadian Van Brings New Hope to Ukraine

It’s a long drive from Kamloops BC to Odessa, Ukraine. Especially if you travel via the port of Halifax, NS. Yet that is exactly what one older model Ford Transporter van did this past summer.

It’s a long drive from Kamloops BC to Odessa, Ukraine. Especially if you travel via the port of Halifax, NS. Yet that is exactly what one older model Ford Transporter van did this past summer.

Mr. Nick Tishenko, representing Mission Eurasia Canada, (a registered Canadian charity that does relief work and assists churches across 15 countries of Eurasia), contacted Thompson Valley Charters and arranged the donation of an older model Ford Transporter van. The company generously donated the van, and along the way, Nick was able to get other businesses to contribute a new windshield, a complete tune up, and some replacement parts and tires to outfit the van for use in Ukraine.

That’s when the fun began.

Working with Allegro Freight Services, coordinated through the ME office in Cambridge ON, passage was secured on a container ship for the van to be shipped overseas to Ukraine. The small issue was, the van was in Kamloops and the port of exit was Halifax, NS. Rail transport for the van across country was not cheap. In consultation with Executive Director of ME Canada, Gord Balfour, it was agreed that Nick would drive the van from his home in Vernon BC to Halifax, and then fly back home. Nick and his friend (name) spent several days crossing Canada to have the van at the port in time for a late July sailing. Along the way, they were able to receive a donated spare tire on a rim and purchase a second one at a discounted rate.

The van was loaded onto the ship, with several spare parts and tools inside for use in its maintenance overseas. It was shipped to Hamburg, Germany, where representatives of Mission Eurasia met the ship and drove the final leg of the journey from Germany into Ukraine.

Over the next few weeks, the van was outfitted as a mobile medical clinic. It is being deployed in  the Odessa region, to be used in bringing medical care and assistance to persons affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.  With so much of the country’s infrastructure damaged, this mobile clinic allows volunteer doctors and dentists to go where needed, quickly and efficiently.

The project is a joint effort between Mission Eurasia and the Christian Medical Association, based in Ukraine. If you wish to know more about Mission Eurasia in Canada, please go to www.missioneurasia.ca

Mission Eurasia thanks Thompson Valley Charters, Lordco Auto Parts, Quick Lube, Apple Auto Glass and Integra Tire for their generous help in making this project a reality. Your gifts are literally saving lives in Ukraine. Many people are very grateful for your help.

(Written by Gord Balfour, Executive Director, Mission Eurasia Canada, box 33055, Franklin RPO, Cambridge ON N1R 8R8.  gord@missioneurasia.ca).

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