We have all watched in anger and disbelief at the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in recent weeks. As we have prayed for peace and an end to war many of us have wondered how we can support our fellow Chrisitans in that region as the respond to the humanitarian crisis brought on by war. Through our partnerships with the North American Baptist Conference we invite you to prayerfully consider supporting the efforts of local Christian camps and ministries who are housing refugees and ministering the gospel and compassionate care to those in need. Here are the two opportunties we recommend:
1) The first is an invitation from our NAB Northwest Regional office: Golgotha Romanian Baptist Church in Tacoma, WA is one of our very active NABNW churches. Many of their church members have come from the country of Moldova, which is a neighboring country to Ukraine. Golgotha church has planted numerous churches in Moldova, and those ministries are associated with a Bible camp there called Camp Singerei. With the influx of Ukrainian refugees into Moldova, the camp has been asked to receive up to 300 refugees. Pastor Pavel Sandu of Golgotha Church has asked that individuals and churches of NABNW consider helping them support Ukrainian refugees in Moldova. To learn more how you can partner with Golgotha to support this work click here
2. The second is an invitation from our NAB International Office:
We would like to invite the entire NAB family to be in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and the surrounding regions. These are dark days, but the light of Christ is shining in the midst of them through his people.
The NAB has several partners within and surrounding Ukraine who are uniquely positioned to assist in the work of Christ in the midst of this humanitarian crisis. In addition to your prayers, we would encourage you to consider contributing to the NAB’s World Relief – Ukraine Crisis fund. To learn more about our ministry partners in Eastern Europe please click here.
The following is a letter from Salt Creek Baptist supported NAB missionaries Paul & Tanya Gericke. Paul & Tanya run our Camp Falcon Rock in Romania are are currently housing Ukrainian refugees:
Thank you for all your prayers, care, and messages for us in light of all that is happening here in Eastern Europe and specifically in Ukraine. We apologize that our response time has been slow and that we haven’t been able to get back to you each individually yet -- we have been trying to get a handle on the situation. We want to let you all know that we are safe here in Romania, but we are heartbroken by what is happening to our neighbouring country. We are located just 130km from the Ukraine border making this invasion close to us in many ways. Over the past week around 800,000 Ukrainians have been forced to flee into Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. Very quickly, NGOs, local businesses, churches, and individuals have been responding to the sudden influx of refugees including here in Romania. Families fleeing are spending 2-4 days waiting in border lines, in freezing temperatures, to try and get out. The border guards are forcing all men aged 18-60 to stay in Ukraine, meaning most of the refugees making it out are women and children who have had to say good bye to dads, husbands, and brothers. Paul and I along with the team at Camp Falcon Rock have been connected with a network of local NGOs/foundations who are working together to transport and place refugees as they come in based on group size and which border they cross. Camp Falcon Rock has opened its doors to receive 40-50 refugees. Paul and I have put our contact information out there and each day we have been getting text messages and calls from various individuals needing housing for themselves or friends crossing the border. We then connect with the network and work together to determine which place makes the most sense for the family, or group to stay. So far most of the people who have reached out to us are those who are needing just a night or two accommodation as they are making their way to Western Europe. The prediction is that in the next week the refugees who will be crossing the borders will be the ones who will need to stay in Romania long term because they won’t have connections or access to the West. So at the moment we are on stand by at Camp Falcon Rock ready to respond when the need arises. Our sending organization, the North American Baptist Conference (NAB), has responded quickly to this crisis. The NAB has two other mission fields in Eastern/Central Europe outside of the Romania field and all are joining initiatives to respond to this situation. With that, the NAB has set up a giving avenue to help the work going on over here to support Ukraine, including the work we are doing with the Hungarian Baptist Convention of Romania. Camp Falcon Rock (located North West Romania) along with its sister camp, Camp Harghita (located Central East Romania) are opening their doors to receive those who are currently trying to make it through the border. Your support will go toward expenses for: food, transportation, basic needs/supplies, medical costs, accommodations, and hiring staff to host and support this response.