March 9, 2022
Ukraine Relief Efforts
Early on February 24, Ukrainians in major cities woke to the sounds of missiles and explosions as the Russian army commenced their invasion. In shock, we watched this tragic drama unfold, and with broken hearts we all want to help Ukrainians who are suffering through this military action. Bethlehem’s Global Diaconate set up a fund to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering, to bless them with kindness, empathy, generosity, and prayer in this time of need. Currently, we are sending funds through three different ministry outlets.
First, we are sending support to Operation Mobilization, the organization of our global partners Dane & Mirjam Hanson.
OM teams are responding to the unfolding situation in Ukraine and surrounding countries. As nearly two million people flee, OM team members are busy mobilizing local churches, coordinating relief efforts, and administering aid to those in need. Currently, they plan to assist at least 10,000 vulnerable people in Ukraine and across six bordering countries. After travel, leaving loved ones behind, and days-long waits on the Ukraine border, people are exhausted. OM teams have set up first response tents near the border or in cities where refugees are arriving by bus. Team members and volunteers distribute hot food, beverages, and essential goods like blankets and warm clothing to those in need. Many of the more vulnerable include small children, the elderly, and pregnant women. As teams minister, they also partner with local churches to help meet spiritual needs.
Second, David & Colleen Little, former global partners who now work with Imago Hearts, are partnering with New Horizons—another ministry we are supporting in the Ukraine relief effort. The Littles served in Russia for years and had to leave when Russia asked Christian organizations to depart. The Littles have continued to support ministry in Russia and Ukraine while living in the south metro.
New Horizons is focusing their efforts on helping people and ministries with whom they have working relationships—namely, ministries that serve orphaned children and help families foster and adopt them (in Ukraine). At this time, these ministries have shifted their attention to protecting and providing families and refugees with urgent needs:
- New Hope in Lviv, Ukraine: This Ministry Center is now providing non-stop support for dozens of families a day through food, lodging, and medical support. Many people leaving for Poland travel through Lviv, and New Hope has made specific appeals to the Littles for financial support.
- The Kharkiv Church ministry to orphans and foster families: Some of the congregation has escaped to Hungary. The pastor and others have stayed to provide for the practical needs of the church community and anyone who needs help. They need money for food, medicine, water, and living essentials in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
- Other ministry centers have been turned into bomb shelters with staff providing practical needs:
- Dream Center in Odessa, Ukraine
- My House in Kherson, Ukraine
- To All Nations in Ceadir-Lunga, Moldova, which is serving approximately 100 people a day coming across the border
- YWAM ministry couple in Eastern Poland is helping to coordinate accommodations and family support for more than 100 orphans who have arrived from Ukraine.
4. Individual families with multiple adopted children are vulnerable and need assistance. Longer term, ministries helping parents take in newly orphaned children will become more of a focus.
Third, we will support Action International. Global Partners Derek & Kirsten Dearth work with Action and are also actively involved with ministering to Ukrainian refugees and displaced peoples.
To donate through Bethlehem’s Global Diaconate fund, you can give in the following ways …
- Text-to-give – Text Ukraine N to 612-223-7432, where N = the amount in dollars to donate.
- Bethlehem App – Select “Give,” then under “Choose a designation,” select “pick one,” then scroll down and select “All Church: Ukraine Relief Fund” and complete the rest of the giving info (be sure to select “One-Time” if a single gift).
- Bethlehem Giving Portal – Give online to the Ukraine Relief Fund.
Thank you so much for your financial and prayer support for the brothers and sisters in the Ukraine!