Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
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.
In the port city of Mariupol, the basements of at least two central churches shelter several hundred Ukrainian people. In Lviv, EBF-connected volunteers have helped establish mobile hospitals, where local pastors provide spiritual and psychological support to patients and staff, and train others to do the same. Churches in every region are serving as centers of refuge, helping those in transit to other locations, as well as any needing overnight care.
Logistics centers in bordering nations receive and distribute aid, and churches have mobilized to take thousands of refugees. Winter weather has stranded many trying to cross borders, including several hundred Indian students. Even hundreds of miles from the Ukrainian border, rides are being organized to pick up refugees at border stops and carry them further into other nations, to relieve the crowding and pressure at the major crossings.
EBF contacts are trying especially to connect with African and Asian refugees from Ukraine who have been refused at some borders, but are finding refuge and access in other places. All refugees are being fed as soon as they arrive and are offered free transport and accommodation.
Even while the needs are dire and seem insurmountable, we remain a people of Gospel hope, a living witness to the goodness of Christ, alive in the world. Alongside you and all our ecumenical partners, Week of Compassion holds fast to the vision of a world where God’s people transform suffering into hope.
We ask that you pray, prepare, and give.
PRAY - Missionaries Pieter and Nora invite others to pray with them:
Pray that peace will reign in Ukraine. Pray for those who are stuck, or have to stay in the cities surrounded by the fighting. Pray for those traveling - for safe travels, welcoming arms and hot food.
Pray that Churches will be able to minister to all. Pray that the leaders will know the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
PREPARE - In these moments, we are working and responding to appeals from our ecumenical partners for immediate aid. We also know there will be refugee, displacement, and relief needs for a very long time to come. We are in close conversation with our partners, and we know that as the needs arise you will join us in response and welcome.
GIVE - Contributions to Week of Compassion can be made online or by check (POBox 1986, Indianapolis IN 46206). When designated for International Emergency Response, 100% of your gift will serve those impacted by this crisis.
With gratitude and hope, together we PRAY, PREPARE, and GIVE.
story information and photo credits: International Ministries / European Baptist Federation
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