An Update on Ukrainian Refugees in Poland Aided by SNEUCC Donations

An Update on Ukrainian Refugees in Poland Aided by SNEUCC Donations

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The Lutheran congregation in Poznań is offering day drop in opportunity for Ukrainian refugee youth with games, movies, language and homework as well as psychological help.
Almost a year has passed since Russia invaded Ukraine causing millions of people to flee from war, and the war crimes that it is committing during the conflict. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our UCC churches since last year we have collected $153,766.30 in aid to the Ukranian refugees taking shelter in Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed congregations throughout Poland.
 
Here is a short update on what has happened since, and on some of the work that is happening right now thanks to your witness.
 
The Lutheran Diakonia, the main partner of our relief efforts, continues to work with both congregations inside Poland and the Lutheran congregations in Ukraine delivering humanitarian aid. Most recently these have been power generators and means of supporting people of Ukraine as Russia bombs the country’s infrastructure trying to “freeze them into submission” during a very harsh winter. In Poland congregations that took in refugees as guests continue to be supported with financial aid to pay the heating and electric bills which have gone up by over 50% in the last few months.

Small congregations like the Methodist in Ełk and Lutheran in Giżycko (both in the poor, northeast region of Poland) have not only been able to adapt their few guestrooms to house families but have also received additional aid to pay for the heating and electricity. Our support has allowed these families to rebuild their lives with a semblance of independence and eased the children’s adjustment to their new reality. The small Lutheran congregation in Węgrów continues to house a larger group of refugees (individuals and families) on their premises and our assistance once again helped them to pay for the electric and heating bills.
 
In the city of Wrocław (southwest of Poland), a German-minority Lutheran congregation with the help of our aid (amongst other donors) has been able to open a social center with youth activities, child care and empowering refugee women to start their own business while the war rages on. Language lessons are being offered to all who need them. (Watch this video showing their work)

In the western city of Poznań, a Lutheran affiliated NGO Zielony Domek is flourishing offering day drop in opportunity for Ukrainian refugee youth with games, movies, language and homework as well as psychological help. It also organizes day trips around Poland to help the children catch a break from the horrors of the war.
 
Finally, the refugees continue to give back. The small but very active Reformed congregation in Żychlin continues to house another group of refugees. But that’s not all that they do. Their guests decided to raise money for those in Ukraine, especially the medical personnel and handicapped folks in Kherson and Kharkiv, two cities on the front of the war. Power stations, chargers and flashlights will be bought and transported by the refugees and members of that congregation.

Wars and war crimes happen because their perpetrators think God is not watching. Your help and generosity say otherwise and reinforce the truth of the words of the Psalmist: “But you [God] do see! Indeed, you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the widow and orphan” (Ps 10:14).
 
First Church in Marlborough (Congregational) UCC continues to collect money for Ukraine relief. If you would like to participate, send check with “Ukraine relief” in the memo line.

God bless you for your generosity – and to God, and God alone be praise and glory!
 

Author

kazikbem.jpg
Kaz J. Bem

The Rev. Kazimierz Bem is the Pastor of the First Church in Marlborough (Congregational). 

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