Sarnia pastor coordinating effort to bring Ukrainians to Lambton County

Tim Gibb has a long history with Ukraine.

The Sarnia, Ont. pastor has two grandparents born in the eastern European country, and he’s led multiple church missions there.

“From 2011 to 2019, I’ve been to Ukraine about a dozen times,” says Gibb.

“We’ve been working with churches, orphanages, just wherever we can be a support and a blessing.”

Heartbroken over what is transpiring overseas, Gibb has a three-part plan for members of his community.

He’s asking people to pray for the people of Ukraine, donate to help with the basic necessities of life, and then looking for help to potentially bring Ukrainians to Lambton County.At Sunday’s service Tim Gibb showed photos of Ukrainian families he’s been speaking with in hopes of bringing them to Canada.

“Some of the kids that we worked with years ago would now be of age that they could be fighting,” says Tricia Gibb, Tim’s sister, and a fellow pastor at Bethel Pentecostal Church in Sarnia.

“We just are hopeful and we are praying that they’re safe in the midst of all of this.”

Working alongside Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu, and Ed Dickson of the Chatham-based charity Loads of Love, Tim Gibb is hopeful they’ll be able to bring a number of people to Canada safely.

“Right now I’ve got about eight adults and eight children that are beginning the application process,” says Tim Gibb.

“They’re still in Ukraine, and I am anxious though, because each day that goes by the situation is getting worse and worse, and their ability even to leave the country is becoming more difficult.”

Gibb says he’s been in conversation with the woman and says they are in the process of getting to Poland, Hungary or Romania in the next 24-48 hours. They can then begin the process of getting to Canada.

“It’s a big thing to leave,” says Tim Gibb.

“They realize they’re a dangerous situation and for some of them, they have no contacts in the neighboring country”.

That leaves them with many questions once they cross the border. How do they live? Where do they go? How do they survive?

The Bethel Church congregation has raised $15,000 over the past two weeks, and $5,000 of that has already been sent overseas.

“Our whole congregation is really hurting for these people because they are I think it’s important to remember these are just normal people like you and I who are going through a horrific situation and they need our support right now,” says Tricia Gibb.

Eight families from his church, and another 14 from the community have contacted him to say they’d be willing to house the visitors.

“So I have no concern that once the Ukrainians arrive we’re going to have a lot of people that are going to be providing the supports that they’re going to need. Because this is a caring community and it’s a community that wants to help,” says Tim Gibb.

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