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Ukraine: Refugee Needs Are Growing

Recent days have been momentous for Ukraine and her people. While the news media has been focused on the ongoing political turmoil, the evangelical churches SGA serves are focused on a humanitarian crisis that will be ongoing for some time even if no more shots are fired. We have additional developments to report in connection with SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund, plus an update on current events that may impact direct ministry as time goes on.

Ukrainian President Addresses U.S. Congress

On Thursday, September 18, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington to a standing ovation from lawmakers. He declared Ukraine’s right to self-defense and territorial integrity, and asked the U.S. to provide military aid and ongoing political support. The president’s visit came after Ukraine’s parliament ratified both a peace agreement brokered with pro-Russian separatists in the east, plus a long-awaited pact with the European Union. The latter agreement’s implementation will be delayed in a concession to Russia. After President Poroshenko’s address, the U.S. announced an additional $53 million in economic aid to Ukraine.

The war in eastern Ukraine has damaged or destroyed many homes. With winter coming soon, refugees need our help now!

The war in eastern Ukraine has damaged or destroyed many homes. With winter coming soon, refugees need our help now!

An Uncertain Future and Ongoing Need

Despite the peace deal with the separatists—which allows a level of autonomy for pro-Russian eastern provinces—sporadic violence is still occurring in the region. Some militants have voiced their rejection of the deal and still insist on full independence from Ukraine. More importantly, the enormous human needs caused by the crisis are ongoing, and still need to be met even as world attention is drawn away to other matters. There are still thousands of refugees and other affected families being assisted by SGA-sponsored missionary pastors and their churches. With winter fast approaching, it is vital that we help our brothers and sisters do all that they can to help, and to seize every opportunity for the Gospel that God opens.

Gifts of food and other aid can and do help open the door for effective Gospel witness.

Gifts of food and other aid can and do help open the door for effective Gospel witness.

Current Ministry Opportunities and How You Can Help!

Through SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund, SGA partners have provided a significant amount of food aid and Christian evangelistic literature for distribution through the churches. Other items including mattresses, pillows, and linens have been supplied for housing refugees. In view of the coming winter, many refugees and needy families will need warm clothing and lack the means to obtain it. Pastor Valery Antonyuk, president of the Ukrainian Baptist Union, says that there are at least 200 people the churches want to assist as soon as possible, and SGA is thankful for the opportunity to help as God provides the resources.

Gifts to SGA's Crisis Evangelism Fund can help provide food, warm clothing, and even mattresses for use by churches that are housing refugees.

Gifts to SGA’s Crisis Evangelism Fund can help provide food, warm clothing, and even mattresses for use by churches that are housing refugees.

As before, a gift of $15 can help provide a food pack, which will contain items such as flour, cooking oil, pasta, and other staples plus Christian literature, delivered by believers from local churches. A gift of $56 will help provide warm clothing such as warm socks, scarves, sweaters, and jackets to the most needy individuals and families—many of whom fled their homes with only their summer clothes on their backs. A gift of $100 can help supply a bed package for sleeping on a church floor. Larger gifts can help provide other items like mattresses, pillows, and bed linens, plus Bibles and evangelistic literature.

Please continue with us in prayer as events continue to unfold. Pray that permanent peace will take hold soon, and that God will provide the resources needed for the churches to reach out in His love. And please help spread the word. The crisis is not over, and the opportunities to reach the lost and glorify our Lord are greater than ever. Thank you in advance! To find out more about the Crisis Evangelism Fund, click here.

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