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Transcript of Audio of Jakov's talk on the Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine

I am so happy to be able once again to greet all the Friends of Mary’s Hands! Especially after glorious times and days that that we have lived. Only two, three days ago we celebrated the anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions. What a grace for all of us it has been! As a fruit of that grace, Mary’s hands as well has come into existence. So, a very special greetings and thanks to all our benefactors and to all people of good will who pray for us. Thank you for helping us to be, in deed, the extended hands of Mary. You have helped us so much, so far, with your help, to achieve goals that we have had in our hearts.

First of all, I’d like to personally to thank you from the bottom of my heart, but also, I want to thank you on behalf of every single person who has received, thanks to you, different kinds of aids. You know that already several months ago--as soon as the Russian aggression started in Ukraine--that Medjugorje has had constant arrivals of refugees from Ukraine. And they are all people who have suffered a great deal.

And, you know who can really feel with them and understand them, is us, because we have suffered severe war over 5 years. Many of us know what it is to lose home, what it means to have to abandon your home, and to leave with your children, carrying nothing, not knowing where you are going, how it is all going to end for you and your family. As you see many of those people have chosen, of all places, Medjugorje as a place to come looking for shelter. And we have been extended hands of Mary, waiting for them here. All of Medjugorje continues to be by their side. Association Mary’s Hands makes all effort to provide for them all that they need. Whether we give them food, we are covering the cost of one apartment for several families to stay, we give them medicine when they need, that what it is necessary.

All of that, we are doing in collaboration with Red Cross. And since the aggression against Ukraine started, I have had one desire: to send a little bit of aid from over here, as well. And we thought of going there ourselves carrying humanitarian aid. But our van is far too small to take to Ukraine what they need but God has provided in another way through of one of the Franciscans of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province who is in a Franciscan convent in Mostar, his name is Friar Iko Skoko. He already went once to Ukraine. He went on his own. And when he told me he wanted to go back, he said if we wanted to participate, for me it was immediately a sign. I did not hesitate.

You see, God has taken care how to provide for us to help people in Ukraine. Together with one association from Germany we have prepared one ENORMUS truck which is now on the way to Ukraine. We have put in the truck what they have asked for: basic food products. I am so happy to be able to do something for our brothers and sisters suffering in Ukraine. Because all that’s been happening for the past four months there, makes us think of what we have experienced during the war and how was it to wait, whether anything would come from anywhere.

So, I have no words actually to express my gratitude to all of you who with your donations and contributions made this little project possible.

{Special thank you notes follow.}