Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine millions of people have had to leave their homes, becoming refugees in neighbouring countries to the west, such as Poland, Slovakia, Moldova and Hungary, with some hoping to find refuge and safety in the UK.

Of course our response as a church is first to pray; for peace, for justice, for wisdom, for compassion, and ultimately for the war to cease.

However, this should not be our only response. As Connect Church we have been developing our relationships with two key partners in Eastern Europe,  which are:

Cirkev Bratska in Bardejov, Slovakia
Pastor Martin Uhrinak and the local church (which is the home church of our own Milos and Eunika Karaffova) are supporting those crossing the border from Ukraine, particularly by providing accommodation and welcome bags with fresh clothing, toiletries, and sanitary products to woman and children (see pictures below).

Slovakia Relief.png

Way of Hope, Hungary
Kornel Szilagyi, one of our missions partners in Eastern Europe, has been supporting a small Baptist church in Nagydobos, Hungary (near the Ukrainian border), who are taking in refugees as they enter the country. Way of Hope also work directly with an orphanage in Beregszasz, Ukraine, which they have been doing for the last 15 years, and they will be looking to help with the needs of this children’s home now and in the future when they can safely travel to the area.

Since this humanitarian crisis began we have been able to send more than £8,000 to our partners, to support them in the great work that they are doing.

Homes for Ukraine
And of course we continue to encourage individuals from within the church family, if they feel able to do so, to register interest in the new government ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, which you can do and learn more about here:

https://homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk/

You can also register your interest with the Sanctuary Foundation, which we are hoping in the near future will be able to connect us with someone(s) in Ukraine looking to take refuge in the UK.

Hebrews 13:2 says “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers”, and James reminds us that the “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Please do continue to pray and consider how we are a church can ensure that we are prepared to be welcoming and hospitality to any and all Ukrainians who may find themselves in our area in the coming weeks and months.

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