PALMETTO, Fla. — Marvin Lane was a pastor for decades, now he lives in Palmetto, Florida and attends Skyway Community Chapel.
Lane also spends part of the year in Romania at the orphanage he founded more than 25 years ago called Village of Hope.
"Sometimes the older you get the more you recognize the sufferings and the needs of children. And when you see the corruption and all that they’re going through, I had to do something," said Lane.
He said he also felt he had to do something when he saw Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"My first thought was, what’s going to happen to the orphaned children? Because they were going to be the ones who were going to suffer the most, no one caring for them or trying to provide for their needs," said Lane.
Lane learned 94 orphaned Ukrainian orphans ranging from three months old to teenagers needed help. So he used networking through his Christian nonprofit called 'Generation Hope International' to get them to Romania, a days-long journey that wasn’t easy.
"Sometimes they had to walk because they ran out of gas. When they got to the border, it was freezing cold with no shelter for over 24 hours," said Lane.
Lane said when they crossed the border into Romania, Village of Hope staff, transportation, and doctors were waiting.
Now they are all safe and sound at Village of Hope.
"When they get there they’re met by people who actually love them and care for them. There are some things that just transcend languages," said Lane.
Lane is traveling to Romania on Wednesday. He said with this all unfolding so quickly finding funding to help has been challenging.
The small congregation of Skyway Community Chapel gave $6,000 for the orphans this past Sunday, which is a tremendous amount for a church of just over 50 people.
But Lane said financial help is still desperately needed. He said 100% of the 501c3’s donations go straight to helping the orphans.
"We need sponsors for children. We do need immediate funds to continue on," said Lane.
This story was first reported by Wendi Lane at WFTS in Tampa, Florida.