Russian-Born Volunteers Say They're Giving Back For God & Country - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Russian-Born Volunteers Say They're Giving Back For God & Country

They speak different languages, but the mission for these Russian and Ukrainian volunteers is the same as the thousands of others who have come to our aid since Katrina.

"When God comes to your heart, it totally changes you. You can't not care about people who are in a situation like this. So we decided to go here and help these people," Ukrainian volunteer Demtry Romanchuk said. 

The 26 Russian and Ukrainian volunteers are members of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They say helping the Coast rebuild is a way for them to give back to a country that has given so much to them, and allows them religious freedom.

"Originally, as refugees we left in '89 when it was still the Soviet Union and we were persecuted as Christians. My parents told me there was nothing to lose," Ukrainian volunteer Filip Moshkovsky said.

The volunteers are helping to put two Pearlington families back into homes. Most have taken vacation from their day jobs to be here.

Valeriy Dimod is a professional opera singer.

"How much this country has done for me, I never could imagine I could do something back for the country," Dimod said.

The homes they are working on are among more than 20 that Camp Coastal is building in Pearlington.

"It's a wonderful partnership. These guys bring in plenty of labor, and we've got some materials. It's a match made in heaven," Camp Coastal Director Mike Sweeney said.

"Even if we don't speak the same language, we laugh the same. And God's language is an international language," Jennifer Johnson with the Madison Baptist Association said.

by Al Showers

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