VALLEY FORGE, PA (2/25/22)—In response to immediate needs resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24, 2022, International Ministries, on behalf of American Baptist Churches USA, has sent an initial grant of $15,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency relief to the European Baptist Federation to provide humanitarian aid for Ukrainian Baptists. This grant joins a larger, global Baptist response to this evolving situation.
Since early 2022, the world has watched as tensions escalated along Ukraine’s border with Russia. Sadly, on February 24, Ukrainians woke to the sounds of sirens and falling artillery as Russia launched a full-scale invasion by land, air, and sea. “The threat of this incursion is something that Ukrainians have lived with since 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine,” says Lisa Rothenberger, IM’s World Relief Officer. “We have stood with our Ukrainian Baptist brothers and sisters since 2014, with our prayers and financial resources, and we continue that support today. We know that what is unfolding today will create enormous social, economic, and political challenges.”
Initial relief will provide basic provisions—food, shelter, medicine, and hygiene items—to at least 2,500 people who are fleeing their homes. Displaced people will be served by distribution centers set up by the Ukrainian Baptists to provide temporary shelter and relief. In addition, the threat of the incursion and the invasion have resulted in refugees fleeing to neighboring countries. In those countries, Baptists are also responding. There will be ongoing needs both within Ukraine and in the surrounding countries.
Our global servants in Europe are all well and safe; we ask for your prayers for their continued security.
While our financial support will provide for physical needs, the need for prayer is paramount. IM Area Director for Europe, the Middle East and Liberia Rev. Charles Jones shares, “We ask American Baptists to join in prayer for our Baptist sisters and brothers, and all the people of Ukraine: for protection and provision for those who suffer, and for peace to be restored. And for our Baptist sisters and brothers and all peace-loving people in Russia, that God will give them courage to pursue peace.”
Additional relief is urgently needed. Persons wishing to support relief efforts can do so through their American Baptist church, by giving online, or by sending checks directly to International Ministries. Please designate your contribution to “OGHS–Ukraine Relief.”
Checks sent directly to International Ministries should be made payable to “International Ministries” and mailed to:
Attn: Gifts Processing
1003 W 9th Avenue, Ste A
King of Prussia, PA 19406
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The Committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing the distribution of the annual OGHS offering received by churches.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.