As the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries continue 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, an effort of Texas Baptists (the Baptist General Convention of Texas), has joined with Baptist World Alliance 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 toward 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 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 toward specific, targeted needs as they are identified by the EBF.
Texas Baptist Men has also pledged funds to the BWA’s Ukraine relief fund. TBM has committed $50,000, a fourth of the BWA’s total fundraising goal. To give through TBM, 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 m0re than 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.
Ways to give
For ways to give, check with your church, association or state Baptist convention to find out how they are contributing to relief work in Ukraine. To contact your state convention for more information, click here. Or, for more information about Send Relief, click here. To give through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering to support Ukrainian humanitarian efforts, click here.
EDITOR’S NOTE —This article was first published by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.