Compassion for Ukraine
Hebrews 13:16 encourages Christians to “do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. There is a new challenge for the Christian church in America. The challenge is to serve the refugees fleeing Ukraine by supporting churches across Eastern Europe.
Russia has invaded Ukraine sending droves of citizens to the borders. No one knows if the situation is temporary or permanent. Countries stepping up to help have limited resources. Poland is planning to accommodate up to 1 million Ukrainians. Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova are equipping to handle the numbers of people that are due to increase in the coming weeks.[i]
Moldova is a very small country bordered by the Ukraine. In the first few days of the invasion, they received several thousand refugees. Moldova is not a wealthy country. One Pastor posted a social media request to friends and supporters in America to pray as they prepare to house, feed, and comfort as many Ukrainians as they can handle. They will need transportation, immediate food and clothing, and temporary shelter. Pastor Moraru asked for prayer for wisdom, resources, and funds.[ii] His request blanketed in deep concern.
One church in Tennessee has been facilitating mission trips to the Ukraine for 10 years. Hardin Valley Church of Christ is already assembling “family buckets” for refugees. These will contain personal items. Their friends in Ukraine report the airport had been bombed, the same airport church members had flown into on the mission trips. Michael Lawson who has served on the mission trips has received reports that all train tickets out of the country have been bought up and the roads are gridlocked.[iii] The congregation is concerned for the safety of their friends.
Not every church in America has a personal connection with someone in Ukraine or one of its neighboring countries. Not everyone will have a mission story to tell about those whom they know and love that are suffering. Christ called us to serve. Galatians 6:2 implores us to carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Russia is doing the unspeakable. “A top Ukrainian official condemned the Russian shelling of a hospital…calling it “beyond evil.” [iv] It is an opportunity for Christians to fight this evil by finding ways to support the people of Ukraine. If your church is part of an international mission organization, consider additional support. Look for ways to serve the churches who have “boots on the ground”. Inform your congregation of organizations they can support that are helping.
Put yourself in the place of a father who drives his family to the border. How must that feel to send the family away with little resources and an uncertain future? Men between the ages of 18-60 are required to remain in the Ukraine to fight.[v]
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3). Amen
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[i] https://www.vox.com/22948699/ukraine-refugee-crisis-us-eu-russia-war [ii] www.kbc-ministries.org [iii] https://www.wymt.com/2022/02/24/east-tennessee-church-helping-ukrainian-refugees/ [iv] https://thehill.com/policy/international/europe/595703-ukraine-foreign-minister-russia-shelling-hospital-beyond-evil [v] https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/we-pray-ukraine-people-flee-war-into-central-europe-2022-02-25/