Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
Just more than a week ago, Russia moved military forces into Ukraine, attacking more than a dozen city centers. From the beginning, we have prayed together, and immediately engaged with our global and domestic ecumenical partners to respond to emergent needs and craft an ongoing and long-term response.
photo: Finn Church Aid/Antti Yrjonen
Through Week of Compassion partners like ACT Alliance and the European Baptist Federation, we are focused on providing relief and response. It is estimated that 1.2 million Ukrainians have left their homes, arriving in neighboring nations for refuge; in addition, a significant number of internally displaced people remain inside Ukraine.
The photos and stories from across Ukraine are stirring and dramatic. Here is what our partners have seen and heard as they serve those arriving at the borders:
“My husband is on the frontlines. The women of my family have decided to take our children away from danger. ... We went where the car was taking us, I don’t remember most of the journey. My children were asking where are we going and I couldn’t come up with an answer. … My sister is still on the way, I have no idea where she or my nieces are.
“We pray every day for our Army and those who protect us. Our hospitals are full of injured people who were delivered to Dnipro from all over Ukraine. Many locals come to donate blood for them.
There are so many stories, and the needs and responses are in constant motion. While we know there will be much more to come, here are three ways you can be part of this story right now:
PRAY - Pray for peace, in all the ways it can come. Pray for the people of Ukraine, both those who’ve fled, and those who cannot. Pray for soldiers, and their families, who are often young, and often poor. Pray for leaders, and for leadership - political, spiritual, and humanitarian.
PREPARE - We are already working and responding to appeals from our ecumenical partners and will continue to do so as needs are assessed. We know there will also be long term needs and know that you join us and remain open to the ways we might best welcome the stranger.
GIVE - Contributions to Week of Compassion can be made online or by check, designated for International Emergency Response, and 100% of your gift will go to people who are impacted by this crisis.
God of the great and small, you hold all in your care.
We pray safety for Ukraine’s people; generosity from those rendering aid;
and comfort for countless families separated and terrified.
Christ of compassion and peace, your love never fails, never runs out, never wanes.
We pray with deep gratitude for those who put hands and feet and faces to your goodness.
Spirit of mercy and justice, may your wisdom prevail.
We pray for clarity and discernment, with desperate words but also with great confidence,
that your true shalom might reach every corner it has yet to find.
Spirit of abiding hope, Christ of expansive welcome, God of outrageous love,
We are yours.
In your mercy,
hear our prayers.
And may we put those prayers to work.
Rev. Terri Hord Owens, General Minister and President of The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, shares a statement on Ukraine, in her weekly video to the church.
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