Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
Ukraine appeal & response update
Today marks 125 days - just more than 4 months - since Russian troops invaded Ukraine, and the destruction, casualties, and horror have not ceased. The Ukrainian people have gathered in force, receiving military aid, and holding out far longer than most global experts anticipated. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis has grown, overflowing Ukraine’s borders into the surrounding nations that are welcoming and tending to millions of refugees, even as millions more internally displaced persons remain in country. The repercussions will be felt for years, and while relief supplies and aid have been immediate, the ripple effects and response will be long-lasting.
highlights from the World Council of Churches Central Committee, June 2022
“Joyful to share the work of the church with these Disciples leaders as part of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.” With one sentence and a photo from the General Minister and President, the whole Disciples church came into the room in Geneva, Switzerland, joining global ecumenical partners for a week-long conversation and discernment about the church’s direction and faithful witness in turbulent times.
Week of Compassion is responding in Ukraine and in neighboring countries where families are fleeing for safety, through our ecumenical partners in ACT Alliance. Recently, Simon Chambers, ACT’s Director of Communications, visited ACT partner AIDRom in Bucharest, caring for Ukrainian refugees as they escape, resettle, and imagine life in new ways and places. Here is just one of many stories Simon shares from the people he met:
From the beginning, Week of Compassion has been engaged with ecumenical partners to do the work of alleviating suffering. On behalf of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we serve together - individuals, congregations, denominational colleagues, and ecumenical partners - to not only envision but work for a world where God’s people transform suffering into hope.
Week of Compassion is responding through partners to support Ukrainians all along their arduous journey - welcoming and hosting refugees as they flee, getting them safely to where they need to be, and preparing to provide trauma care as they rebuild their lives.
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.
For us, like for many others, every day Ukraine is on our hearts.
So begins a letter from Pieter and Nora Kalkan, missionaries to the Czech Republic, writing to their church family in the (American Baptist) International Ministries. Through IM, and the European Baptist Federation, Week of Compassion is on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding nations, responding to the emergent needs of those fleeing the country, and those who remain internally displaced by the war.
As stories of devastation and terror fill the international news, stories of compassion, generosity, and life-giving help flow in from our ecumenical partners as well.
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