More than 800,000 refugees have fled Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion, with many more expected to follow in the coming days. As the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries continues to escalate, the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering is working with worldwide ministry partners to support the 2,100 Baptist churches in Ukraine and help those who have been affected by the crisis.
The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering has joined with Baptist World Alliance (BWA) to raise $200,000 to meet the immediate, emergency-based needs of refugees fleeing conflict zones. This is a strategic and unified global Baptist effort. The Hunger Offering has pledged $20,000 towards this goal.
These funds will go to pre-determined churches in Ukraine and surrounding countries, which will act as centers of hope to distribute food, water and other necessities. The European Baptist Federation (EBF) will serve as the main point of contact between Ukrainian churches and BWA.
Katie Frugé, director of the Center for Cultural Engagement and Christian Life Commission, explained that many people left their homes with only their documents and a few basics. The funds will help supply hygiene packs, first aid kits and bags with basic supplies like toothbrushes and socks.
“It’s not glamorous things, but it’s things they will use every day,” Frugé explained.
The Hunger Offering had already planned $8,000 to give to a hunger project in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city, before the war broke out. Now, those funds are being doubled, and the money will go towards specific, targeted needs as they are identified by the EBF.
To give through the Hunger Offering to support Ukrainian humanitarian efforts, click here.
Three Texas Baptists chaplains have been deployed to NATO countries near Ukraine. The chaplains, along with approximately 8,000 troops, are in Europe to keep neighboring countries safe from invasion and to respond as needed.
Chaplains are embedded in military units, and they provide pastoral care and emotional support to soldiers and soldiers’ families. Texas Baptists has over 1,000 endorsed chaplains serving in healthcare, military, public safety and other sectors.
Churches across Texas are praying and providing support for those impacted by the war. River of Life Church in Dallas is a Russian-speaking church that ministers to immigrants and refugees from Eastern Europe, including many Ukrainians. Pastor Leonid Regheta has led prayer events and been a source of information for many churches and ministries. He provided a video update for Texas Baptists at the beginning of the conflict, which can be viewed here.
Texas Baptists churches are encouraged to pray for response efforts actively underway. To view and download a prayer guide written by the Texas Baptists Christian Life Commission, click here.