From United Methodist News
As soon as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, 2022, Ukrainian refugees — mostly women and children — began arriving in neighboring countries. Some by train, some in cars with bullet holes.
“We didn’t know where we were going; we just went west,” said Anna, a refugee from Kyiv staying at a United Methodist retreat center in the Czech Republic.
United Methodists in Eastern Europe have been welcoming refugees since the beginning. Many offer shelter and basic daily necessities, in many cases hosting the refugees in their own homes. Others arrange to transport food and medical supplies back into Ukraine for those who cannot leave, and help refugees acquire legal documents that they may have left behind or lost while fleeing their homes. As the conflict drags on and more long-term needs arise, churches help children with school and help their parents find more permanent housing and jobs. When asked, the response is always that they will help as long as necessary.
In late May, a team from United Methodist News, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries visited church refugee ministries in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and western Ukraine to share stories of the United Methodist presence in the wake of such tragedy and ongoing need.Photo Essay
United Methodists and others wishing to provide humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people in the wake of the Russian invasion of their country may contribute to Advance #982450, UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery. This fund will provide direct assistance to those in Ukraine as well as assistance to Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries.
Gifts to support the people of Ukraine can be made in the following ways:
- Online at https://umcmission.org/advance-project/982450
- By toll-free telephone: 888-252-6174
- By check made out to Global Ministries/UMCOR with “Advance #982450-Ukraine” written on the memo line, either mailed and addressed to Global Ministries/UMCOR, GPO, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087-9068 or given at or through any United Methodist church
One hundred percent of all Advance contributions go to the designated cause.
The United Methodist community in Ukraine, though quite small, is actively engaged in assisting neighbors in need. Global Ministries is in touch with the church’s leadership as well as with church leaders in countries welcoming those who are fleeing from violence in Ukraine.
United Methodist Global Ministries offers an eight-question guide to the history of Methodism in Ukraine, how UMCOR is responding, and the best ways for you to help now.
- How is the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responding?
- How can I support those still in Ukraine and those fleeing the violence?
- Will UMCOR be sending kits and other supplies?
- Can I volunteer?
- How can I host refugees in my U.S. home?
- Our church wants to have a direct relationship with a UMC congregation in Ukraine or Eastern Europe. Can you provide us with contact information?
- Is The United Methodist Church active in Ukraine? In Russia? In surrounding regions?
- What prayer can I lift up for the people of Ukraine?