Stories of hope

Emergency Relief, Featured

Ukraine Relief Efforts

5/11/22 Update

Recently, local pastors in a city just outside of Kyiv, Ukraine received a shipment of 32 pallets. This shipment of aid came from Poland and through our partnership with Slavic Gospel Association (SGA). 

Pastor Sergei shared this with our SGA partners: “Every day, people come and get free lunch or dinner. During meals, I try to tell the gospel for ten to fifteen minutes and answer people’s questions on spiritual topics. Many people have never attended church before. Some began to come to our church meetings or to see Christian films. Recently, two people prayed with me a prayer of repentance. 

“In addition to food, members of our church help people cover broken windows with film. We provide film free of charge. Also, people draw water from our well on the territory of the church for free. Many people who now come to our church for help are those whom we helped with the evacuation from [the city] in early March. Now they have returned to [the city] and are coming to us. They are very grateful to us and God!” 

Local churches continue to be a light during dark times for the people of Ukraine. Through our partnership with SGA and other partners in surrounding countries, your gift toward our Emergency Relief fund can bring physical relief to those in desperate need and spiritual comfort to those without hope. 

Thank you for your compassion and your continued prayers for the people of Ukraine. 

5/4/22 Update

In this week’s update, we are blessed to share feedback from Pastor Vladimir, one of our Mercy Network partners in Ukraine:

“We have visited 50 families. We are very sorry for we have not taken any pictures. As for the stories, we just have words of gratitude from the people we have helped. Nowadays, people are so scared that they are afraid of saying a lot.

“Most of the families moved to villages or abroad, leaving only men at home. But men want to eat, too. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for them to share a testimony. The only thing we could get from them was a stingy man’s tear and words of gratitude for caring for them. We told them that it was God’s care for them.

“There were very few words, but the churches are overcrowded, not only in the bomb shelters during the alarm, but also at church services. Many people have repented, asking for God’s protection.”

Gratitude is a constant theme throughout the various feedback coming in from our partners in Ukraine, as well as our partners in Romania. Thanks to the generosity of so many supporters, we have been able to provide our partners with enough funding for over a million meals! Those meals are providing local pastors in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, and Poland with the resources to reach families in need with compassion, food, and the hope of the gospel.

It is thanks to generosity from partners like you that hearts are being transformed. It is our honor to share with you just a few of the photos we’ve received from our partners. We hope these smiles are an encouragement to you that your generosity and prayers are appreciated.

4/27/22 Update

Earlier this month, fifteen pallets of donated food were shipped out from our Los Angeles Distribution Center, bound for Ukraine. These fifteen pallets contain enough food to provide 116,640 meals. The food was transported to New Jersey, where it was air-shipped to Ukraine and transported to a warehouse in Brovary, near Kyiv.

Unlike ocean freight—which can take several weeks to arrive—air freight allows products to arrive within a few days.

Just two weeks ago, a second shipment of food was air-shipped to our partners, this time containing enough food to provide 285,120 meals. We ask that you pray alongside us for the logistics involved in getting these meals distributed to the churches we serve and that those meals would be a vital tool in sharing the gospel with families in need throughout Ukraine.

We are grateful for our partnership with Guidelight, which has made it possible to get meals to our partners more quickly.

4/13/22 Update

What role does choice make in the current crisis in Ukraine?

For families in Ukraine, the choice to stay in their homes or flee to a safer location is a very real decision. Both options hold a great deal of uncertainty. If they stay, will they be safe? How will they get food? If they leave, where will they go? Will they find a place to sleep? How will they get food? Will they ever be able to return to their home?

Many of the pastors supported by Slavic Gospel Association—our ministry partner in Ukraine—have made the choice to remain in Ukraine so that they can serve the people there. One pastor shared, “Almost our entire church decided not to evacuate, but to stay and serve the people. We realized that we should try to distribute food to the remaining people in our area of Kyiv. We bought groceries with church money and began to invite people from the street. On the third day, we served 600 people.”

The pastors who have chosen to stay and serve and those from other countries who have stepped up to aid in the refugee crisis know that the gospel message of hope is greater than any delivery of food or medicine they could provide. We continue to praise God for the faithfulness of these men and women who continue to find their hope and strength in Christ despite the suffering around them.

Please pray with us:

  • Pray for an end to the violence and for God’s peace to be known.
  • Pray for safety for those choosing to remain in Ukraine and those unable to evacuate.
  • Pray for God’s protection over the pastors and church volunteers who have chosen to remain to serve the people in Ukraine.
  • Pray for the transportation needs of our partners—both those transporting food and other resources and those transporting refugees to the borders.
  • Pray that the gospel would be received by those who hear it and lives would be transformed.

4/5/22 Update

Once again, our partners in Romania have shared a story of hope from the frontlines in Ukraine.

Pastor Viorel, our partner in Romania, met with a Ukrainian family being cared for by a church in Craiova, Romania. The family shared their distress over their grandmother back in Ukraine who was too sick to travel with them when they fled their country.

Pastor Viorel contacted his son, Beni, who was in Ukraine taking another delivery of food over the border. With the help of a local pastor in Ukraine, Beni was able to locate the grandmother—now well enough to travel—and get her safely across the border. The family was reunited in Craiova.

In addition to the funding that has allowed our partners in Romania to purchase and deliver food across the border, Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF) was able to send funding to our partners in Romania that can provide another 200,000 meals. Plans are being finalized for another trip across the border to deliver food into Ukraine.

A new partnership with Poland Christian Ministries (PCM) in Poland will allow CHF to serve at least 18 churches in Poland who have been providing food and shelter for refugees. CHF recently finalized funding to PCM that can provide 80,000 meals for Ukrainian refugees being served by their ministry. One pastor in Warsaw shared about his church’s activities over the past four weeks:

“We are looking for apartments, organizing collections, meeting people at the crossings, arranging transport for fleeing people, and bringing humanitarian help to Ukraine. We organize food, clothing, and whatever is needed for those who are with us. We hug, talk, and pray. As of today, we have helped place 1,500 refugees. In this next week, we have buses scheduled to carry refugees to the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland.”

In Moldova, new partners at Kishinev Bible Church Ministries (KBC) are supporting 40 “centers” to care for anywhere between 50 and 200 refugees. These centers are a combination of church buildings, offices, Christian camps, rental spaces, and private homes. Funding provided by CHF can provide 80,000 meals to support these centers.

Mission Eurasia is another organization with whom CHF has formed a partnership. CHF sent funding to provide food for a warehouse in Ukraine where food packages are being built. Mission Eurasia—which is based out of Illinois—plans to ship 8-10 containers of food to Moldova each month for the next few months. CHF is supporting this effort with funding for three of those containers.

We are thankful for new partnerships that are dedicated to serving those in need and sharing the hope of the gospel as well as your prayer and support that makes this ministry happen.

3/30/22 Update

Even while curfews are announced and martial law is introduced across Ukraine, our Mercy Network church partners in Ukraine remain thankful that the Lord has allowed them the opportunity to continue to minister to their communities.

Recently, one of our pastors in central Ukraine shared with us, “For the last three weeks, we have received 30-40 people every day. Those people stay overnight in the homes of church members. Most of them are families with little children. We cook dinner and breakfast for them and provide some food for the trip.”

The pastor shared about one family that was invited to stay in his home. “The children are very frightened,” he shared. “Praise God, after being quiet for a while, they started playing games. When they came, they were so hungry. When we offered them something to eat, the middle girl grabbed a bun and stuffed it into her mouth in two bites. I haven’t seen such a thing.” The family continued west the following morning and called the pastor every four hours until they reached safety in a city near the border of Romania.

Another nearby church has also offered lodging for refugees traveling toward Western Ukraine, Moldova, and Poland. They have also used funds from relief funds from Children’s Hunger Fund to purchase food and hygiene products for the military battalion stationed in town, a local rehabilitation center, as well as families who have remained in the area.

Andrew, the father of one family visited by the church, shared about his initial skepticism toward the church. After several visits from the church, he opened up and shared his fears about providing for his family after losing his job. His children had been sent to their grandmother’s home, which had a good basement to provide protection in case of an air attack.

“We prayed for Andrew’s family,” the pastor shared with us. “After our visit, he cheered up. He said that all his life, he had tried to earn on his own, as he didn’t want to depend on anyone. But in the most critical period of his life, God and His people came to him and supported him and his family.”

Despite violence and war, stories like this continue to be shared. More families are open to hearing the message of the gospel. Thank you for your prayers and your support as our partners in Ukraine continue to minister to those in need in Ukraine.

Recipients’ names have been changed to protect their privacy. Pastors’ names and locations have been removed for their protection.

3/23/22 Update

Even as Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine on February 24, 2022, our church partners in Ukraine have maintained the same goal as always: to bring help and hope to people in need. As thousands and thousands of Ukrainians began fleeing their homeland in search of safety, our partners in Romania began to make plans to respond.

Here in the US, Children’s Hunger Fund has been reaching out to our partners and other organizations to see how we can best provide assistance with the refugee crisis in Ukraine. An emergency relief grant for $30,000 was wired to our partners in Romania, and when our partner went to the bank to retrieve the funds, the bank manager inquired about the large sum. Our partner, Pastor Viorel, shared with the manager about his partnership with Children’s Hunger Fund and that the money would be used to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees. The manager immediately called her main branch in Bucharest and asked for the best exchange rate possible. With tears in her eyes, she shared her gratitude for the work being done.

Our partners used the funds to purchase canned pork, soup, corn, and goulash. The food was loaded up into a van and was driven across the border and delivered to the cities that were bombed. There are plans to take more deliveries across the border, but that will depend on how many vans are able to cross the border. A portion of the funds will also be used by a church in Romania to provide for over 60 Ukrainian orphans.

Even as bombs continue to fall, our partners in Ukraine have remained faithful to their mission to deliver hope to people in need. People are still gathering to worship. Food is being delivered. The gospel continues to be shared. Hear more from our partners in our recent post.

Please pray with us:

  • Pray for peace and a swift end to the conflict.
  • Pray for the safety of our partners in Ukraine as they faithfully serve the people in their communities at great personal risk.
  • Pray for the safety of our partners in Romania as they cross the border to provide desperately needed resources.
  • Pray for the churches in neighboring countries who are taking in refugees.
  • Pray that funding would be provided to assist those who are aiding with the refugee crisis.

Pray that, despite everything, the gospel would be proclaimed and that God’s love would be made known.

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