This article was originally published in the March 2023 edition of ITMI Monthly.
As you read this, we will have just passed the one-year mark since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Immediately, Eastern Europe was turned upside down as refugees poured through Poland, Romania, Moldova, and other neighboring countries.
Believers everywhere recognized the opportunity to share the Good News. They sprang into action, whether it was preparing places for people to stay, collecting basic necessities, or sending donations to support the cause.
ITMI's Adi Ban unloads supplies in Kiev, Ukraine, equipping Ukrainian churches and believers to reach Ukrainians seeking refuge.
Believers inside Ukraine organized a network of support for refugees displaced from attacked cities and those leaving the country.
Pastors and leaders have been toiling tirelessly for a year now. On the physical front, there are large shipments of supplies to be organized, tracked, and distributed, meals to be prepared and served, safe transport to be arranged, and many other tasks.
On the spiritual side, there are hurting, traumatized people pouring through the front doors of churches in need of the Good News, comfort, counsel, and care.
A Ukrainian pastor prays with Ukrainian refugees.
A Ukrainian pastor or leader prays with a refugee at a Christian refugee center in Ukraine, leading her to repentance and faith in Jesus.
A Ukrainian pastor leads refugees in a service at a Christian refugee center in Ukraine.
In December 2022, with the average daily high temperature of 31 degrees Fahrenheit in his city, one pastor wrote,
“With military shelling and constant military bad news, it's mentally hard to be calm. I am writing this document in complete darkness. For three days now there has been practically no electricity due to the Russian shelling of our power plants. ”
"It is mentally difficult to be calm."
Imagine the toll living this way would take after a year! Pile on to that the emotional exhaustion of engaging with, encouraging, and ministering to suffering Ukrainians who have lost everything.
Yet, just a few sentences later, that same pastor wrote, “We are fully in this work and do not want to leave it. There is an opportunity to leave, but there is no desire.”
ITMI believes the role these pastors and leaders are playing in their country during one of its darkest moments in history is a crucial role for the Kingdom of God. As the church of Jesus Christ stands firm and tall in unimaginable circumstances, the name of Jesus is being glorified and turned to.
This Christian refugee center is a beacon of hope, standing tall in the dark.
These leaders have an incredible opportunity to shine the light of Jesus into the lives of many if they can stay the course and remain healthy - both physically and spiritually.
We believe their pivotal ministry at such a time in history can be enhanced and prolonged with some restoration and reprieve.
Our partners, Adi and Ema Ban of Romania have been working with this network of Ukrainian pastors and leaders since before the invasion.
Now, they’ve asked us to help them provide several days of rest and rejuvenation in Romania for ten pastors and their wives who have served tirelessly under fire and remain committed to serving the Lord in Ukraine.
Adi has been able to keep the expenses of this extremely reasonable. We hope to help Adi raise $1,100 USD per couple for this purpose.
ITMI’s Adi Ban has also brought us the opportunity to help a church in Turkey extend Jesus’ love and care among earthquake victims.
Adi’s source, who he has known for some time, says the situation on the ground is horrifying. Thousands are dead, and no one is there to offer aid or even clean up the bodies, so rats have moved in.
Adi says our Turkish brothers in Christ need a van to transport supplies. Adi is working with his contact on the most cost-effective way to make this happen.
If you are interested in getting involved, we’ll make sure Adi receives your gift to pass along to his trusted contact to empower the local body of Christ as they show Jesus’ love and care by being salt and light at the right time, in the right place.
(Please include the word "Turkey" in the comments on the next page.)
More About Our Outreaches in Ukraine
About the Authors
Steve Evers has advocated for and served the ITMI partners as ITMI Director since 2001. Approximately once a year, Steve visits with ITMI partners in their countries and brings stories back to encourage supporters. Steve enjoys photography and mechanics, (both hobbies that have greatly benefited ITMI partners!) Prior to becoming ITMI's Director, Steve served on the Board of Directors for 4 years. Steve lives in Arizona with his wife, Darlene.
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