Baptists hard at work in Ukraine

As the Ukraine conflict rages on, and the terrible refugee crisis deepens, Baptists have been digging deep.

Since the conflict escalated in February 2022, and bombs and missiles began raining down on towns and cities across the country, the UN says close to 20,000 civilians have been killed or injured, and some seven million refugees have fled to countries across Europe.

UNICEF estimates that a further 5.9 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced – in a country with a ruined power grid, and collapsing food supplies and healthcare, during the bitter Eastern European winter.

Its research shows that millions of children have had their education disrupted and around 1.5 million have mental health issues.

And still there seems no sign of the war ending.

The European Baptist Federation – supported by a £10,000 donation from the Baptist Grants Programme – has been hard at work resourcing local Baptists to help those suffering.

‘The situation is dire,’ said EBF spokesman Will Cumbia. ‘It’s a chaotic, confused picture, and we’ve focused on enabling Baptists Unions in the region to deliver practical aid. In Ukraine that includes transforming churches into centres of heat and hope – some people have been bombed out of their homes, and many others have no electricity or gas supplies, so they’re offering them a warm and comfortable space.

‘As the fighting moves toward them, families are naturally trying to get away within the country or across the borders. Local Baptists are helping with transport, and providing churches as transitional centres, somewhere en route to stay for a few days, to get a good meal, and a rest, and to wash and recuperate. They are also taking the opportunity to share God's love with those who have lost so much.

‘The cost of all of this is huge, in terms of fuel for transport and generators, buying food, providing medical supplies, and paying staff, but the response from the wider Baptist community has been amazing – we’ve raised €7 million in 2022.'

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The gift of £10,000 from the Baptist Grants Programme was incredibly generous, and we are extremely grateful for it – and for all the other donations we receive. Without that money we would not be able to help those at the sharp end.

EBF spokesperson, Will Cumbia.

The money forms only a small part of more than £2 million which has been given to Baptist causes over the past ten years by the BIC Grants Committee.

The Ukraine conflict is horrifying, and we are extremely pleased to be able to play a small part in helping the people affected,’ said Anne Bishop, Chair of the Committee. ‘The work that the European Baptist Federation is supporting is humbling and inspiring, and our prayer is that many will come to know Jesus as a result.

Anne Bishop, Chair of the Baptist Insurance Company Grants Committee

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