The American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Southwest and Hawaii (ABCOFLASH) recently invited American Baptists across the United States and Puerto Rico to a Forum on March 23 on Ukraine. This 75-minute Zoom session informed participants about the history of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and how Baptists in Europe and American Baptist Global Servants are ministering to refugees. Participants were also given updates on how they can support the humanitarian response by giving to One Great Hour of Sharing. The session then closed with prayer.
View the a recording of the Forum below.
The participants of the session included:
- Van Tarpley, pastor of First Baptist Church of Bostonia, who teaches history at San Diego State University. Van has worked, studied, and researched in Lviv, Odesa, Moscow, and St. Petersburg and served as a missionary in former-Soviet Kyrgyzstan, and will provide historical context for the current war and humanitarian catastrophe.
- Charles Jones, who serves with International Ministries as the area director for Europe, The Middle East, and Liberia. Jones will update us on regional and national relief efforts related to the war in Ukraine.
- Nora and Pieter Kalkman, who serve with International Ministries with the European Baptist Federation. They will share about refugees coming to the Czech Republic where they live, and how Baptists in Europe are responding to the crisis.
- Amanda and Jon Good, who serve with International Ministries in Hungary. They, like many churches and individuals, are offering hospitality and hosting refugees in their home. They will share what God is doing through them to alleviate some of the sufferings of the refugees from Ukraine.
The session concluded with prayers lead by American Baptist leaders from across our denominational family, including:
- Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri – associate general secretary for Mission Resource Development, American Baptist Churches USA
- Rev. Jim Bell – associate executive director for Global Mission, American Baptist International Ministries
- Rev. Andy Quient – executive minister, American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Southwest, and Hawaii
- Rev. Florence Li – national coordinator of Asian Ministries, American Baptist Home Mission Societies
- Rev. Dr. Shane Kinnison – pastor, First Baptist Church of Glendale, Calif.