In the midst of world crises that spread far and wide, it can become easy to watch from a distance, to remove yourself from the stories that seem to plague the news feeds. When 24-year-old Tatiana found herself living in the midst of one of those conflicts in Ukraine, disengagement was not an option.
“When war comes to your country, it completely changes your perception of life,” she says. “You begin to understand that everything you have read in books or seen in the movies and read on the news does not reflect even the 10 percent of what is really happening there.”
Tatiana and her church saw firsthand just how devastating conflict can be. When violence broke out between Ukraine and Russia, members of the Nazarene church began volunteering at a hospital that treated the wounded.
“These people had to endure a lot,” Tatiana continues to explain. “Medications, prosthetics, and other devices that help with rehabilitation are very expensive.”
In the midst of tragedy, churches have stepped in to help those in need. The greatest opportunity, in Tatiana’s opinion, is a chance to pray with those who have been affected. “They share vivid evidence of God’s protection. This is the place where we, as believers, are really needed. After all, the church is a hospital for the soul, and every soul here is bruised.”
The church is also providing assistance to families who fled to Russia or other parts of Ukraine to escape violence.
The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in both Ukraine and Russia has reached more than 400,000 people. Families have been forced to move and begin new lives, including the search for new housing, schools, and jobs. Now, with winter quickly approaching and the economy deeply shaken, local leaders are asking for prayers and support.
Trino Jara, NCM CIS Regional Coordinator says, “The economic situation for many of our families is very critical, and people do not have income to sustain their families. The war may be over, but the crisis is still here.”
You can help support the local relief efforts for those affected in Ukraine and Russia by donating here: https://give.nazarene.org/donate/f/122185