Harrisburg organization raises $630,000 for medical supplies and train tickets for beleaguered Ukrainians
A Harrisburg-based group of missionaries has received more than $630,000 in donations to distribute to refugees through its Ukraine crisis fund.
The Baptist Association for World Evangelism distributes this money through missionaries working in Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova, according to Alex Kocman, ABWE communications director.
The organization has a team of 41 North American missionaries and 12 nationals who partner with 50 partner churches, Kocman said. So far, they have distributed around 5,500 meals to the refugees, among other aids.
Rich D., who alongside his wife is caring for 30 displaced Ukrainian women and their children, said the invasion of Ukraine has increased the need for refugee aid.
“This crisis is affecting our missionaries in several countries and the costs are significant as we work to help refugees who have little or nothing,” said Rich D., an ABWE missionary. “These families [can do nothing] but hope and trust in the compassion of others.
ABWE shelters, feeds and clothes mothers and children, in addition to meeting medical needs, Rich said. ABWE also pays for train or bus tickets to help organize trips to other countries through its network, Kocman said.
ABWE officials have also ordered 1,400 pounds of medicine and supplies to distribute alongside the Christian Medical Association of Ukraine to help counter reports of destruction of hospitals and blood banks reported to the director. of ABWE Missionary Health Care, Dr Miriam Wheeler.
Amid the crisis, partner churches are also opening their doors to bring hope to refugees who may have never attended church before, Kocman said.
“Since the war began, they have seen three people accept Christ and many more show greater openness to spiritual things,” said Holly F., a missionary in Ukraine.