This report is produced by EBF Communications in collaboration with Baptist partners.
Updates from Baptists in Ukraine
The summer heat wave that has raged across Europe only exacerbated the hardship of those in Ukraine. From limited water supplies in conflict areas, to putting those waiting hours in the heat for hours at the borders to cross at risk, suffering continues inside Ukraine.
Across the country, the situation differs as you travel west.
In the east, shells continue to fall as Russia has redoubled efforts on the eastern and southern fronts. Churches in these areas continue to act as beacons of hope, providing energy, food, and water to those in need where resources are extremely limited.
In areas recaptured by Ukraine, some have returned to survey the damage to their cities and homes. Those returning don't know whether they will find a few broken windows or a pile of rubble. Some churches are already seeking temporary repair supplies to fix buildings, but immensely more will be needed, even just for temporary repairs before winter comes.
And in the west, where there is still a threat of missile strikes, though less so than in the east, some churches are running nearly normally.
In Rivne, the Kostopil church ran a kids camp with more the 450 kids ages 5 to 16 years old. This included displaced children from Kharkiv, Kiev, Buchi, Irpen, Izum, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kramatorsk and more. It was a time of respite where the children could breathe amidst the hardships they face every day. Also an integral part of the camp was chatting with parents who could share their pain, reflect on God's Word and unwind with a cup of coffee and snacks in a pleasant atmosphere.
Churches continue to celebrate baptisms every week. In the Kharkiv "Blagovistya" church, seven new members were recently baptised. This is the third baptism of new believers in a church that is only one and a half years old.
And while many churches continue to give out food aide, one church, the Evangelical Baptist Brotherhood Church stands out. During a three months of cooperation with the UN World Food Programme the church distributed 2,709 tonnes of food to the local population. This is in addition to the 4,486 tonnes of food and other aid they distributed through support of the Ukrainian Baptist Union.
Projects continue in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries as well. Though some have returned back into Ukraine and others have moved on further into Europe, many Ukrainians are becoming integrated into their new communities. Ukrainians have been incorporated into church services and summer activities. Baptist churches continue to house, feed, and help displaced Ukrainian people with registration paperwork as well as provide psycho-social support. Local churches and unions continue to respond in the ever changing contexts.
On-going Prayer Needs
Pray God's protection for those ministering to the destitute left behind in conflict areas and occupied areas. Pray they have the strength and fortitude to endure such harsh conditions and that aid can reach them.
Pray for all the new believers who have been baptised and for the pastors who are walking alongside them in their new journey.
Pray for pastors in new ministry settings, like leading military funeral services and pastoral care for those who have experienced trauma.
Pray for endurance and rest for Ukrainian leaders still trying to effectively coordinate and distribute aid after five months.
Pray that peace will come soon and Ukraine can continue to rebuild.
Pray for the families who are separated and having to make difficult decisions about where and how to resettle outside of Ukraine.
Please see past reports for how other Baptist Unions are responding. If your Union is responding to the crisis, please let us know so that we can include your response in future updates.
EBF continues to distribute funding for projects in and around Ukraine while looking to address network-level issues.
EBF continues to host monthly prayer calls on the last Wednesday of the month via Zoom at 19:00 CET (18:00 UK time). The next will be on 31 August 2022. You can use the same registration link.
For further information and stories, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Will Cumbia, Coordinator for Migration Issues, at email@example.com
Tim Solwoong Kim, Communications Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org +47 484 96 884
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