TULSA, Okla. — Carrie Moss was born and raised in Tulsa, and after graduating from physical therapy school, she went on a few short-term trips to Ukraine with a Christian ministry.
After those trips, Moss says she felt called to move there permanently.
"I think it's the people here, they really attracted me to the work that they are doing."
Moss has lived there for eight years and works at Agape — a nonprofit that provides physical therapy for people with disabilities.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed Agape's and Moss's mission.
"We're not doing rehabilitations, since the first day of the war," she says. "We are taking refugees from anywhere in Ukraine and they're either allowed to stay temporarily in our building or if needed, we assist them in getting across the border."
Moss is now helping refugees escape Ukraine safely. So far, Agape has taken seven groups — about 300 people — across the border. Moss says everyone they've helped either has a disability, or the person they're traveling with is disabled.
"Immediately, the Monday after the war started, we had our first group evacuated."
Moss says there's a mixed reaction from the refugees fleeing their homes. She says some are okay, others are traumatized as people lose loved ones during the trek.
"There's another family that came to us they were out from Mariupol, and they were in the process of evacuating and they lost dad," Moss says. "They haven't heard, they don't know where he is. But the mom and the children, who both have disabilities, they made it here."
Moss says despite the danger she and her coworkers face, she wants to be there, helping those who need it the most.
"I want to because I want to be helping. I know that I can help here and serve here and do something. Even if it's cleaning toilets, it's help. It's okay, it's help. It's helping the people who are living in our building, who are coming through, who are trying to get to safety, who have lost potentially everything. It's a way I can help."
Moss says she will stay in Lutsk as long as it's safe, and there are people to help.
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