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Ukraine Update #7

Ukraine Update #7

Dear Friends,

It’s past time that I sent you an update on what ACTION is doing to help the beleaguered people of Ukraine.

We continue to send food and generators into that war-torn country, even to cities that are occupied by the Russian army. In my next report I will focus on those efforts.

In today’s update, though, concerns our ministry to 260 refugees in a center in Wadowice, Poland. Our own Whitney Cravens is there to minister to the physical, relation, and spiritual needs of these dear people.

Whitney can tell the story better than I can, so the words in the report are hers. However, I will chime in to say that everything that our missionaries and ministry partners have accomplished since the invasion in February has only been possible due your faithful prayers and generous support. Thank you.

May God bless and protect the people of Ukraine.

Yours in Christ,

Brian Stewart
Executive Director 

Thank you for your prayers and for giving to our ministry to Ukrainian refugees around the world. Thanks also for praying for me personally as I serve refugees in Poland!

I am currently located in Wadowice (pronounced Vadavitz-eh) - a small town of about 20,000 and an hour away from Krakow. 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 small Polish church. 

We are currently hosting about 260 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, which has been a huge miracle of God’s provision for a church of only 200 members. 

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. The hotel is very nice, with private rooms and bathrooms for almost every 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.

There are many opportunities here to minister kids, teenagers, men, 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. Recently we started to receive families from Mariupol and some of the other most war-stricken areas of Ukraine. On top of the trauma that all of these families have gone through, many of the children come from previously dysfunctional families 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.

While each day looks different, I spend my time helping to coordinate the refugee center to make sure everything is running smoothly, translating and interpreting for visiting teams, building relationships with the refugees, and leading different ministry opportunities, including a bible study for adults, English club, and outreach to kids and teens. Recently, we threw a huge birthday party in honor of the kids at our center who have celebrated birthdays since fleeing the war. 

I also led my first Bible study with nearly 20 men and women to discuss how to pray during war. We looked at different scriptures about prayer and applied them to how to pray now for Ukraine. Our focus was not formulaic, but rather we focused on Christ as we discussed how to trust him even when our prayers seemingly go unanswered. Thank you for your support for Ukrainian relief and please continue to join ACTION in prayer and giving for our families here in Poland and for Ukrainians around the world!