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Northeast Ohio chaplain delivers local support to Ukrainian soldiers

Cleveland Baptist Church provides resources
Local chaplain delivers local support to Ukrainian Soldiers
Chaplain delivers local support to Ukrainian Soldiers
Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-06 08:45:56-05

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Baptist Church chaplain Ronald Jackson and his ministry "God Loves Ukraine" have taken 14 trips to Ukraine over the past four years, but none more poignant than his trip this past week.

Jackson was able to make his way into Ukraine during the ongoing Russian attack and deliver 10 suitcases of gloves, socks and other supplies to Ukrainian soldiers. Jackson said he and his team have been delivering support for the past four years, which includes a Christian message of hope. The care packets being issued to soldiers includes sections of the Bible written in Ukrainian, along with a "God Loves Ukraine" T-shirt and patch.

Chaplain delivers local support to Ukrainian Soldiers
Ronald Jackson has been providing support to Ukrainian soldiers since 2018

Jackson said his ministry started when he was diagnosed with cancer six years ago, which triggered a trip to see two of his good friends in Ukraine, never knowing the trip would create much more than just a final goodbye to his friends.

“I was trying to live life with no regrets, not knowing how much time I had left, so I made the trip to Kiev, Ukraine to see two good my friends," Jackson said.

“The Ukrainians are wonderful people, and all they’re doing is protecting their homes and protecting their land. We wanted to give support to Ukrainian soldiers and the response has been overwhelming," he said. "We walked in and there were 160 of them sitting there waiting for us.

"There were times we could hear the shelling taking place, and we always just prayed to go wherever God would want us to go. This time we took gloves, we took really nice socks for them, and a gospel bag that we did.”

N.E. Ohio Chaplin delivers local support to Ukrainian Soldiers
Pastor Peter Folger and Cleveland Baptist Church have been providing resources to support Ukrainian soldiers

Pastor Peter Folger with Cleveland Baptist Church told News 5 Jackson and his team have been a blessing to so many Ukrainians, with the church and congregation proving thousands in support and supplies. Folger said his parish understands the impact of the Russian attack, with the church's Heritage Christian School adding 120 Ukrainian students in just the past year.

“So our kids are going to school every day with their friends and they’re hearing about their grandparents who are still in Ukraine and can’t get out," Folger said. "So it’s very real to us.

“But this is not about political leaders, it’s about people, a way of life that is under attack. Our people have donated medical equipment, they’ve donated masks, they donated hand sanitizer.”

More information on the local effort to provide support to Ukraine can be found on the God Loves Ukraine website. Anyone interested in donating or helping with the effort can do so on the Cleveland Baptist Church webpage.

Meanwhile, Jackson told News 5 he's now heading to Poland to give further assistance and support to Ukrainian refugees and soldiers. Jackson said he'd like to head back to Ukraine in June if it was safe enough to enter the country. He's hoping the United States will extend additional support to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

“It’s one thing to run to the border, drop it off and then take off and watch from afar, and it’s another thing to carry out the 1994 Budapest memorandum,” Jackson said, adding, “It’s their God-given territory, they are Ukrainians, it’s their flag, someone has to rise to the occasion, obviously I hope it’s America, but I don’t know.”