Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
Grace and peace, Disciples. Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, and with our deepest gratitude for each of you and for this ministry.
In the first days after the February 24 start of the Russian attacks on Ukraine, the humanitarian response, led especially by faith-focused communities, was immediate and significant. Week of Compassion has been in constant contact with our ecumenical partners at home and around the world.
Because of your generous support for this ministry we share, since the start of the conflict a month ago today, we have already sent $250,000 to our partners; those gifts were on the ground right away, providing immediate support, resources, provisions, and shelter for those fleeing their homes in Ukraine. As Ukrainains flee, our partners are assisting with these immediate needs in Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, as well as inside Ukraine for those who cannot or have not been able to escape.
We are deeply grateful for what you have done, and for the work we do together as one church. As our General Minister and President always reminds us, when Week of Compassion is there, the whole church is there.
And we know this is only the beginning.
Multiple phases of care and response will take place over the next several months and even years. The immediate response is critical, and our partners are holding it in balance with the equally-critical work to come. Both are essential to our mission of alleviating suffering throughout the world.
We remain grateful for your financial contributions.
At our online donation page, or when sending a check,
please designate ‘international emergency response’.
100% of your designated gift will go to Ukraine relief efforts.
Just this morning, President Biden announced that the United States will take in 100,000 refugees from Ukraine. In response, our partners have immediately engaged in conversation and action.
While we don't yet have a timeline or specifics on that process, we do know it will add pressure right away on the resettlement community - already scrambling to serve tens of thousands of Afghans; dealing with the possibility and hope of resettling up to 125,000 refugees from around the world who have been waiting far too long; and now 100,000 Ukrainians.
What we DO know is that there will be a coordinated effort within our denomination and with our ecumenical partners to address this influx in the best and most compassionate way possible, from advocacy to sponsoring refugee families, and everything in between.
Many of you have asked what you can do to help with the situation beyond financial contributions. One way is to prepare to help welcome refugees in the coming months and years. It is critically important for persons and congregations interested in resettlement work to begin efforts now. Refugee ministry involves a variety of levels of commitment, with room for churches and individuals of all capacities to take part.
For more information about these options, please be in touch with our Associate Director for Refugee and Immigration Response, Rev. Alan Dicken, who will help you connect with local resettlement offices and prepare resources to help in this time of deepest need. As the situation becomes clearer and we have more definitive information about the resettlement of these refugees, we will continue to update and inform about next steps for congregations.
The news and needs in this global crisis are evolving daily, and we are immensely grateful for you, and for the partnerships that make response possible. Together, we continue to work toward a world where God’s people transform suffering into hope.
Rev. Vy T. Nguyen
Executive Director, Week of Compassion
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