House Speaker Tim Moore stood among the rubble of a bombed-out apartment building in Kiev, Ukraine.
He stood in a trench where Ukrainian soldiers defended their country.
He helped humanitarian workers unload boxes from a truck as they worked to provide food and shelter to those who’d lost their homes.
He met with missionaries risking their lives to spread the gospel in a country ravaged by conflict.
And he talked with members of parliament to learn their views of a war that tore their country apart.
“It’s not your usual ‘vacation’ but I felt it important to see firsthand,” Moore posted on his personal Facebook page Saturday morning.
Moore first told McClatchy he was in Kiev on Wednesday, when he couldn’t take a phone call for another story due to lack of cell phone reception. But he asked for privacy until he knew he was back in a safe area of Europe. He reached that point Saturday morning.
Then he told friends and family, who hadn’t heard what he had been up to, via social media.
“Have been fortunate enough to spend 3 days this week in Ukraine to observe firsthand what is happening there,” Moore wrote. “Traveled here over our Easter recess (on my own dime) and accepted an invitation from Save Our Allies which is affiliated with the Independence Fund to see their efforts to coordinate delivery of humanitarian relief in this war town nation.”
Save Our Allies began as a way to help veterans and members of the military in Afghanistan and has rapidly grown. The Independence Fund, based in Charlotte, helps veterans who were seriously wounded while serving the United States and supports Save Our Allies.
Moore also met with workers from Samaritans Purse, a Christian organization based in Boone, helping to provide shelter and other resources to Ukrainians displaced by the war.
”I was proud to see two North Carolina based NGOs helping these people during a time of need,” Moore said.
Moore said he met with a family who lost everything when their apartment was bombed. Samaritan’s Purse is helping them rebuild. Their 10-year-old son, having lost everything, is now collecting bullets and shrapnel he finds in their yard.
He met with a young girl who was selling art to help finance her family’s needs.
“I saw so many sad things,” Moore said.
Moore also shared, both on his social media pages and with McClatchy, photos from his trip, which included the vast destruction across Kiev. Bombed out buildings, shot up cars, and other vehicles piled up and destroyed by fire are a common theme in those pictures.
“Despite all of that the Ukrainian people were resilient and I met with people who would leave their everyday jobs to go fight on the front then return home a few days to work their normal job and do that over and over,” Moore said. “Not sure what else to say other than I genuinely pray for peace for their nation and hope this conflict ends soon and does not spread into a larger war.”