ST. LOUIS — A woman from St. Louis is making a huge impact on the lives of people in not one, but two countries overseas. Cindy Getchman’s story started at the Twin Rivers Church in St. Louis.

She was trying to find a service project and mission in life. Little did she know, that mission would take her thousands of miles to a new country, Romania.

“My whole life, I was looking for something to do,” she said. “And so when I went to the Republic of Moldova, I went to an orphanage there, it was like I finally saw what I want to do — mission work.”

With just a few bags and the clothes on her back, Getchman set up roots in 2009 all the way in Medgidia, Romania. It’s the poorest region in Romania located off the southeast coast. Stepping Stone Missions was born, helping dozens of kids get proper food and education and keeping them aware of gangs and trafficking.  

Now, she is helping and housing dozens of Ukrainian families who have fled their country.  

“It’s an honor to be able to host and to be part of helping people,” Getchman said. “It’s changed us to change them because we don’t know when they’re going to go home. They don’t know when they’re going to go home. We don’t know if it’s long term or short term.”

Getchman said she is giving the refugees food, clothes, shelter, and even money. She said despite the trauma the refugees have faced, some of the families are even helping to give back to the mission. 

“I never thought that I would feel so close-knitted to people from all over the world. I feel like the mom of the Ukrainians the mom of the kids,” she said. 

Getchman said she will continue helping anyone who comes to her mission, just like she set to do more than 14 years ago.  

“I’m going to fight for the girls to bring them home, from trafficking, and a fight for my kids and the community center to finish school,” Getchman said. “And I’m going to fight for Ukraine to have a place at a safe place to stay and come.”

You can find out more on how to donate and volunteer for the mission by clicking the links below: