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VFU Forward - Poland Team

Wounds of the Heart

This first-hand account is from our on-the-round organizer Rachael Fehl on her arrival to Poland. 4/20/22.

A woman in her seventies tugged on my husband’s arm. She flew in on the same plane we did from the U.S. to Poland. She pointed to her bag on the baggage carousel and nudged in a way that we understood she wanted some help picking up her bag. When my husband went to lift her suitcase and had to reset his footing to properly lift her bag, he quickly realized it was full of body armor. As she tugged at his arm again and again to lift her bags, I wondered what her story was. Where was she going? Who helped her? Who was she helping?

Not far from her was a young military looking man in olive drab clothing that had a small Ukrainian Flag stitched on the sleeve of his shirt. As duffel bags began to fill the carousel, we quickly realized they were all going to this young man. We kept assuming the next one was the last one, but they kept coming. My husband offered to help him, and the young man gladly accepted to the grand total of sixty bags of supplies.

I was on the lookout for our bags and on standby to assist the lady we’d just met, I noticed that the man standing in front of me reached into his back pocket. He pulled out his wallet and took a careful and discrete inventory of the cash he brought with him. With five one hundred U.S. dollar bills in his hand, he walked over to the young military looking man to shake his hand passing the cash from one hand to the next. As the generous man came walking back over to his wife’s side, I could see that he had tears in his eyes. As I started to take in my new surroundings, my eyes began to water.

A week into our journey, we met a volunteer who had helped evacuate refugees across the border from Ukraine to Poland. He described a scene where mothers were passing their babies into his driver side window asking for his help. He stood solemnly and said, “the greatest wounds of this war will be the wounds of our hearts.” 


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