Monday, March 2, 2015

Missions Monday: Crisis in Ukraine

War is hell.  And not just on the front lines.  Innocent women, families, and children always suffer during wars.  And the Ukraine crisis is no different.  To date, over 5,400 people have been killed. 263 of these were civilians killed in populated areas in a one week period! (BBC News).  Somewhere around a million people have become refugees- either internally displaced or fleeing to Russia (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).  
Destroyed house in Donbass

"Some 2000 refugees have come to Rivne where MWB Ukraine is based and another 300 to the Sarny area". (Mission Without Borders Newsletter).  The mission has delivered aid (food clothing, Christian literature, etc) to these displaced families.  Last fall, the Mission (assisted by local churches) was able to deliver 800 tons of relief to the East- including food, clothes, shoes, and material to rebuild damaged houses, schools, and hospitals.

Even in the western areas of Ukraine, families are feeling the effects of war and poverty.  The U family from Sarny has recently been enrolled in the Family to Family sponsorship last year after the mother dies after a difficult birth.  The father quit his job to care for his family of 7 children and receives just $248 a month in benefits.  Even in "normal" times, this is not nearly enough to raise a large family on.  Due to the war, food and daily supplies are hard to come by and the prices may spike without notice.  The F2F program ensures that the family receives a regular supply of food and hygiene items.  Clothing, blankets, and nappies are also provided.  Thanks to donors, the children were recently given new beds!  All of this is a lifeline of hope to the U family and provides stability during uncertain times.

After WW2,  Americans, Canadians, and others sent parcels of food to Britain to help those families struggling in the after effects of war and deprivation.  Today, we have the same opportunity to assist families in Ukraine (and throughout Eastern Europe!).  A family can be sponsored for $100 a month.  Is this something your family or church group could do?  Partial sponsorships are available for $25 a month.  You will be paired with a real, live family that needs a lifeline of hope as they move toward self sufficiency.  More information can be found here as well.

Pray for peace and justice in Ukraine.  Those responsible for unwarranted death and destruction must be brought to justice.  Pray for the innocent families suffering due to war.

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