$500,000 for Ukraine Winter Help!

by David Nakhla

For months we have asked you to pray that the Lord would guide us to the best avenues by which the over $700,000 in Ukraine Crisis Funds could be used.  Your faithful prayers have led to many productive discussions and hopeful decisions. You might recall the trip I took through five countries in Eastern Europe, meeting 10 times in nine days, back in May.  While in Krakow, Poland, I met over coffee with Jon Eide, the MTW Country Director for Ukraine.

Since that time, I have met with Jon five or six times, asking him to recommend the best ways that the OPC Ukraine Crisis Fund could be used in the ministry to those suffering from the war in Ukraine.  In November we received the answer entitled: “Winter Help!”  And subsequently, the Refugee Ministry Subcommittee of the Committee on Diaconal Ministries determined to send $500,000 of your gifts to MTW. This money is to be used to assist the congregations of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPCU), the denomination with whom MTW and OPC Missionary Heero Hacquebord serves in planting a congregation in L’viv, in the following three ways:

1.)     $150,000 for the one-time provision of generators and other winter costs to equip Ukrainians for the cold, dark winter that is upon them 

2.)     $300,000 for six months of operating expenses donated to 17 congregations and ministries to enable the diaconal ministries of the congregations to continue 

3.)     $50,000 for other diaconal and humanitarian aid opportunities carried out by MTW and the EPCU congregations

Thank you for your contributions that have made this possible. Pray with us that the Lord would use this ministry of mercy for the good of the saints and to bring glory to Christ amid extremely difficult circumstances.


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Crates for Ukraine Update

 

The Beard family from New Hope Christian Fellowship in Elizabeth City, North Carolina reached out to the OPC Refugee Ministry Subcommittee for financial support as they planned to participate in the PCA’s “Crates for Ukraine” program. The family has dear friends in L’viv, MTW missionaries, who have been serving for several years.

 

Aimee Beard was excited to have a way to help, “Finally, there was something tangible we could do to help our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. Knowing the need was urgent, I started reaching out to local churches and friends in our community and the help began to pour in. Many were happy to help and especially so because several know [our family friends] personally. A handful of pharmacies and private physicians allowed us to purchase items at cost through them. We have a friend at Harbor Presbyterian (a supporting church) who is a paramedic and he reached out to the county to see if they could help. The county also allowed us to order medical/wound care items at cost through them. The process has truly been a beautiful thing to witness.”

 

“My initial goal was twenty crates. That was before all the support started to come in. We have already filled 70 crates, but I am expecting we will reach 80 by the time our last round of couriers leaves. Incredible! God is so good. It is amazing what He can do with a simple, ‘yes!’ We have a total of nine couriers who have all registered and purchased airline tickets.”

 

Aimee’s daughter, Callie, expressed interest in accompanying the team to Krakow after a family friend had to bow out of the trip, and more volunteers were needed. The OPC Refugee Ministry subcommittee considered this request and, in the end, were glad to be able to pay the remaining cost of an airline ticket for Callie at the cost of $1701.00. Thank you to all of those who donated to the Ukraine Crisis Fund and enabled this young woman to be able to participate in this important program.

 

An email from Aimee after their trip spoke of the success of their trip, “All crates made it to Krakow. Our final courier team arrived Wednesday with all 47 of their crates. All together there were 92 crates that were sent over from our community here in Northeast North Carolina. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness and blessings. He had his hand in every part of this entire mission. So many moving parts and details that only He could orchestrate. It is amazing what He will do with a simple yes.”

 

“We saw the warehouse where all the crates are stored until the team drives them to L’viv. The Ukrainian/Polish/English church service on Sunday was neat. It was great to see our friends from L’viv and the rest of the team. You can tell they are tired and are looking forward to a time to rest and reassess the situation before winter.”

 

Crates for Ukraine was an initiative started by the MTW L’viv Team in June of this year to address the war time aid needs of Ukraine. MTW (PCA) took the initiative in this effort and invited the OPC to join in their efforts. The OPC was privileged to be involved in this way.

Crates’ mission was simple: The Ukrainian Church and their national partners desired to provide personal and humanitarian aid from the hands of churches in the U.S. to the hands of churches and displaced communities in Ukraine. Churches, communities, or families were invited to pack a crate and send it to Ukraine via Krakow, Poland.

The Ukraine church in L’viv received and is processing these crates and sending them to the neediest communities and churches of Ukraine. MTW was able to utilize the 15 churches throughout Ukraine to network and resource the needy communities. 

Here is the latest data on the Crates for Ukraine initiative.

 

A few quick facts:

 

  • 1,315 crates were delivered to Krakow.
  • 186 Couriers brought aid.
  • Over 250 churches participated from over 100 cities and 21 states. 
  • 15 churches in Ukraine received/processed aid.
  • Over 115 locations have received aid or have in turn become aid distribution points.
  • Aid processing continues to reach the most needy and vulnerable.
  • 100 crates went to newly liberated villages (Lzyum and Kharkiv region) and our partner churches.
  • This Ukraine Aid Map will be updated weekly with more detailed delivery information. 

 

Many have asked about future aid initiatives. A possible “Crates for Christmas” initiative is in the works. We will update as information about that become available.

 

You can find out more about the efforts to help in Ukraine by listening to The Reformed Deacon episode where David Nakhla interviews MTW’s Ukraine Country Director, Jon Eide, and by reading the September 15 issue of the “Crates for Ukraine Update” from the PCA’s Mission to the World.

 

 


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May Ukraine Crisis Fund Update

May 16, 2022

To date, the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries has received over $623,230.00 in donations for the Ukrainian Crisis!

We thank God for the charity of his church and for all those who have sought to aid individuals and churches in crisis. As God is gracious in providing funds for the provision of the most needy across the globe, it is also needful for those resources to be stewarded wisely and in a way that is most effective in filling needs. The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries senses the weight of this responsibility to faithfully allocate all funds received. Such a task requires a close-up look into the situation in the region and personal contact with those affected by the war. Administrator for the Committee on Diaconal Ministries David Nakhla seeks to do just that during his time in Eastern Europe as he makes contact specifically with like-minded churches and ministries native to the region.

As of May 16th David, along with Rich Bout, were en route to Lithuania having just visited cities in Hungary and Poland. The Lord was faithful in providing insight along the way as they faced each new day, city, and circumstance. David reported:

“The most needy population is still in Ukraine with scarce resources, yet seeing a hotel filled with just mothers and their children outside Ukraine demonstrates how vulnerable the refugee population is as well. Keep praying for the various needs of the Ukrainian people. It has been encouraging to see the church serving in whatever ways they possibly can: gathering and shipping supplies, coordinating housing and transport, teaching languages, providing teaching and activities for children, etc. We praise the Lord in hearing about how the churches, both in Ukraine, and outside are overflowing with worshippers. It seems the Lord will use this awful situation for the spread of the gospel. Pray to that end. The gospel is truly the only hope.”

Just a few days later, David recounted the “harrowing story of survival in and escape from Mariupol” one woman shared. He conveyed the scene:

“Boiling dirty snow on the sidewalk, fearful of incoming missiles that hit without warning sirens. Due to the lack of water or heat, bathing was not an option for weeks. One lady shared that once she was able to remove her socks, it was like they had become one with her skin. To leave the city, they had to face the difficult decision of whether to brave driving through the supposed “humanitarian corridor” and be shot in the back or braving the humiliating search and interrogation procedures of the Russian army in order to pass through the front into Russia. They opted for the latter and seemed to still be shaken and humiliated by what they endured. . . They are thankful to have found a safe haven with the saints in Lithuania.”

Please keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers, as well as all those in Eastern Europe affected by the war. Specific updates on the work of missionaries and sister churches to aid refugees in the region will be provided as they become available.

Want to know more? A more detailed report of David’s visit will be included in May’s edition of the STORM Report. You can sign up for the newsletter here.


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