Photo: Bill Wilson in Ukraine (Facebook)
By Tom Campisi
Pastor Bill Wilson, the 72-year old founder of Metro World Child in Brooklyn, is currently serving in war-torn Ukraine on a humanitarian mission. Wilson wears a bullet-proof vest, which could save his life if he is shot, but offers no protection for his broken heart, which bleeds for the children of this nation.
“My team and I have brought in supplies to Ukraine and have been rescuing children and orphans here. I can’t tell you with words how difficult it is here right now,” he said via Facebook. “Many orphans have been abandoned, they’re running out of food, water, and medical supplies.”
Wilson left for Ukraine soon after he received a call from a Ukrainian pastor who heard him speak several years ago. The pastor runs an orphanage for severely-challenged, special-needs children 30 miles north of Mariupol.
“They had to stay in the basement without food, water and medicine,” Wilson said. “With our help, they were able to evacuate 14 children and safely relocate them to Moldova. Unfortunately, three of those children, who were already in bad shape, starved to death because they ran out of food before the rescue team arrived.”
“This is why I am determined to be on the ground seeing the needs myself, hearing the stories myself, meeting the people myself, so we can bring the help they really need.”
As he has for the last fifty years in New York City and beyond, Wilson serves at-risk children with fearless determination. He was once shot in the face while ministering in Brooklyn. He has also been stabbed. On Facebook, he wrote about how he was supposed to be picked by a military convoy that was headed to Kyiv, but was not due to communication challenges. He later learned that an American journalist was killed by a Russian sniper at a checkpoint on that same convoy.
“I know the danger and the reality in situations like this. I was shot by a Russian sniper in Syria several years ago when I was there to help the children,” he said. “I’ve been wearing my bullet-proof vest here now in Ukraine that saved my life in Syria. I am ready to DO WHATEVER IT TAKES to save lives again.”
In Uzhhorod, a city in west Ukraine, Wilson met with the director of the Nehemiah Project, Tetiana Machabeli, and a partnership was quickly formed. Wilson said that the two organizations share the same vision to rebuild the nation and are working together to bring needed supplies and the love of Christ to women and children that have left their home with nothing but a suitcase in their hand.
“They have been sent across the border to be relocated to another country on the buses not knowing where they will end up, what they are going to do or if they’ll ever see loved ones again,” Wilson said. “It just breaks your heart!”
On Facebook and on the Metro World Child website, Wilson is pleading for financial assistance.
“At this painful time in world history, these children certainly need our help and they need it urgently. As Christians, we need to take action to help and we need to do it right now!”
“Not everyone needs to come to Ukraine personally with supplies like me, but we URGENTLY need basic resources to continue to be sent to keep these children alive. With your help, through the connections I’ve made, we can help the babies who don’t even have powdered milk and diapers……You know the urgency. I hope many of you will step up and help now!”
To give to Metro World Child’s work in Ukraine, go to www.mwc.org/ukraine.