Anya tearfully stacked the burned bricks from her house when our team of volunteers arrived.
Part of one of the many neighborhoods burned down because of Russia’s scorched earth tactics in Ukraine, Anya’s house had little left in it except for what few metal knick-knacks had survived the flames.
Upon hearing that our volunteers came from a local church, Anya invited them in and broke bread with them while sharing her heartbreaking story. Through a lengthy conversation, Anya committed herself to Christ, and nearly 20 of her neighbors in similar situations began attending services at our partner’s church.
As the invasion continues, Anya and her neighbors will most likely have to abandon what is left of their community to flee the country. Surrounding nations currently receiving Ukrainian refugees include Poland, Romania, Moldova, Germany and Hungary.
In anticipation of this, Send Relief funded multiple bus rentals to transport hundreds of refugee families across the border to local churches that wait with open arms. Send Relief has also equipped these generous believers with first-aid kits, food, clothes, diapers, medicine and prepaid phones to distribute among the families as they cross.
One of our partnering churches in Germany has completely transformed its nursing home into a temporary shelter for newly arrived refugees! The lead pastor, Boris, shared, “Our church had a vision to build three things on our campuses: a school, a gym and a nursing home. We completed these projects right as the war in Ukraine began and we prayed, ‘Lord, lead us to make the right decision.’ Our church invited Ukrainians to stay in our nursing home for an entire year with the funds that Send Relief has provided, including paying for the electric bill, food services, furniture, gas, hygiene items and other necessities.”
While many Ukrainians heard the gospel message through these services, many refugees didn’t receive help from the government and felt too ashamed to ask for help from the church. With time and many intentional conversations, not only did our volunteers provide these families the assistance they needed, but they also obtained more information on the barriers the refugees will face in the resettlement process.
With these pressing needs in mind, here are five ways you can pray for Ukrainian refugees.
- Pray for a successful registration process and quick resettlement in their new host countries. Because of the sudden influx of refugees in surrounding nations, the paperwork takes longer than average to process. Many families live months without financial support, work permits, medical attention or proper schooling for their children.
- Pray for adequate housing for families. It is extremely challenging to find affordable apartments on such short notice, so many refugees live month-to-month in makeshift shelters or refugee centers.
- Pray for families to acclimate well to the new language and culture. It’s difficult for Ukrainian refugees to navigate settling into their new nations without a timeline for return or any assurance of seeing their homeland again. It takes time to reconcile that their host countries may be their final destinations. Planning for the future is vital during this transitional period. Please pray for peace and wisdom as they come to terms with the trauma they face and the decisions they must make in its wake.
- Pray for the Ukrainian men. Many brothers, husbands and fathers remain behind to fight. The people see a nationwide spike in depression and other mental health crises because families now have to live separated indefinitely.
- Pray for the pastors ministering during the war to see the hand of God at work as they faithfully serve. They experience unimaginable daily hardships while remaining focused on pouring into others. Pray for stamina and grace as they continue to minister and work.
If you or your church would like to help more families fleeing the Ukraine conflict, visit our website for ways to fund crucial projects on the ground or to get involved with refugee care.
Help Ukrainian families in crisis!
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Published October 20, 2022