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 Ministry in Poland - Life Among Refugees

Ministry in Poland - Life Among Refugees

I am currently located in a small town of about 20,000 and an hour away from Krakow. The town is famous for being the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Here I am living and serving at a refugee center in a large hotel that has been rented out for at least six months by a Polish church.

We are currently hosting about 220 Ukrainians refugees in this center, more than half of which are kids! The church has 3 centers of this size that they are directly managing and an additional 3 they are supporting financially, for a total of about 1,000 refugees. In these centers, the church provides lodging, food, and other basic necessities free of charge, which is an enormous blessing financially for the refugees in this time of great need during war. 

A Ukrainian woman named N*** (herself a refugee from Kyiv) and a Polish man named W*** have been volunteering as coordinators of this center for almost the entire length of the war. They are a dynamic duo and have helped many at this center, forming relationships and going above and beyond to personally help the refugees with adjustment to Poland and meet various physical needs. The hotel is very nice with private rooms and bathrooms for almost each family, and the center is completely volunteer-run. The refugees all pitch in for basic chores such as kitchen duty, washing dishes, and cleaning the hallway floors to form a well-functioning and clean community.

Because things organizationally are running well, I mainly have supported N*** and W*** as I learn how the center operates and sub-in for them as they take well-deserved days off. Additionally, this has freed me up to focus on ministry opportunities by forming relationships with the refugees and praying about how the Lord specifically wants me to serve. Among the 220 refugees, there is a small group of believers who have already started conducting Sunday services and some children’s ministry, and who also gather each evening for prayer for each other and Ukraine. This group of believers, as well as N***, who is also my roommate, have quickly become my support system and community in Poland. 

While I only arrived a little over a week ago, I see many opportunities to minister to especially the kids, teenagers, and women. These families are from all over Ukraine, and some have already lost their homes or have family members fighting on the front lines. While some families have attentive and loving parents, other children are from families similar to the ones I worked with in Kherson, Ukraine, where parents are either emotionally absent, neglectful, or overly harsh. Many of the children are in need of an extra dose of love and support, and are already displaying attachment issues which take patience and wisdom to even begin to address.

Please join me in prayer for those at the center and for the ministry that the Lord has for each of us. It appears that the Lord is opening the door for me to start a more regular children’s program with an experienced Ukrainian children’s ministry named Yulia, and I am also praying about starting an English club, a women’s bible study, and showing the series “The Chosen”. While I have been challenged in many ways since arriving, I am thankful to the Lord for placing me in this specific center for a time such as this and for the many opportunities to bless, love, and minister to Ukrainians during war. Thank YOU for your prayers and financial support!

Strollers line the wall of the hotel-turned-refugee-center. Here we have over 115 children!