Give now for Eastern Europe Crisis Response
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
Since last week, the news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has filled news reports and social media feeds. Heartbreaking images of people saying goodbye to loved ones and lining up at the borders to leave the country are occupying our screens. Prayers and calls for peace are coming from around the world as we watch this crisis unfold.
Civilians fleeing the violence are heading toward Ukraine’s western districts and such neighboring countries as Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. Ukrainian men of military age (18-60) are required to stay in the country, so most of those fleeing the violence are women and children. According to one report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 500,000 people are seeking refuge in neighboring countries including Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Moldova. There are major humanitarian concerns for both internally displaced people and refugees. Many of these Ukrainians fleeing their homes need shelter and such basic necessities as food, water and toiletries. Care for people also includes pastoral and psychological support to address the trauma they’ve endured.
Lutheran Disaster Response is accompanying our companion churches in Ukraine, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, as well as such ecumenical partners as the Lutheran World Federation and Church World Service, in their humanitarian responses to the crisis. These partners provide refugees with immediate support and supplies such as food, blankets, water and hygiene kits. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has joined other religious leaders from Europe and around the globe in issuing an interfaith call for peace in the region.
Your gifts will support Ukrainians and others. Gifts to “Eastern Europe Crisis Response” will be used in full (100%) to assist those affected by the crisis in Ukraine and neighboring countries.
Our prayers abound for the loss and devastation experienced in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
The Rev. Daniel Rift
Director, ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response Fund
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America