Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in Ukraine – mainly women, children and elderly. The UN warns that more than 4.5 million people could follow in the coming weeks. There are many thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters amongst them.
People have been queuing for days in the freezing cold, as the majority flee to the twelve border crossings into Poland, while others opt for Romania, Hungary, Slovakia or Moldova. Everyone is cold, hungry and tired.
Students from Africa, India and the Middle East, who had come to Ukraine for its quality university education, are also trying to get out. Scores of African students, including many Christians, have been met with abuse and blatant racism by Ukrainian border guards, who prioritise white people trying to escape. Some other non-white students have experienced the same.
But praise God for churches which look after those who do manage to cross the border. One church in Romania is caring for 300 Indian refugees in a sports centre.
Barnabas Fund heavily involved already
We are very thankful to our supporters for their generous donations, enabling us already to send funds to churches in the neighbouring countries as they care for Christian and other refugees. Thank you also for your continued prayers for Ukraine and the whole region.
“We deeply express our gratitude and thanks for the BIG help and special generosity related to the Ukrainian refugees that came in our Refugee Centre,” wrote a Baptist church leader in Moldova to Barnabas Fund about funds we have sent for shelter, warm meals and clothes. “May God Almighty richly bless and reward you according to His great love and generosity.”
Food, blankets, coats
But more needs to be done to support the churches receiving refugees. With 800,000 people from Ukraine already arrived in the border regions of neighbouring countries, food is now running short locally.
Night temperatures are well below freezing, and some countries have snow, so blankets and winter clothes are needed.
Another Moldovan pastor appealed to Barnabas Fund on Thursday (3 March):
“Dear brothers and sisters … In this current situation I think we need more than finances to support some of the expenses here … we need food, we need clothing. Some of them are running [from their] homes without shoes, without clothing, what clothing [they had] was light clothing. If it is possible to bring some food here, also clothes and shoes, I think that will be very important for this ministry with the Ukrainian refugees. May God bless you and once again thank you for joining us in this common effort to help …”
We need YOUR help
1. Barnabas Fund is calling for donated goods for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters, specifically:
a. tinned food (that can be opened without a can opener), cup-a-soup packets and energy bars;
c. good quality winter clothes, particularly coats.
Will you and your church collect goods for Ukraine? We already have partner churches throughout the UK that can act as collection hubs (please click here to see a list). We will then arrange for the goods to be delivered to our Swindon warehouse. Alternatively, you can volunteer to drive the goods to Swindon.
2. Do you have a van/lorry that could transport the goods to the borders of Ukraine – Poland, Romania, Moldova? Would you consider volunteering to drive a van/lorry?
Please contact us on 01793 317778 or complete this form .
3. Funds are still needed, particularly for heating the church halls and other buildings now housing refugees. Our partners in the region have told us of their soaring fuel bills. If you would like to make a financial donation, please click here.