SOLIDARITY AND PRAYER WITH UKRAINIAN CHURCH LEADERS
Please find downloadable reports and support files (free to share) at the very end of this page.
On the morning of Saturday, 26 February 2022, we sent out an email to ask our network to gather to hear and support Ukrainian church leaders. More than 40 individuals from the USA, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, and France gathered. We hosted four Ukrainian church leaders: one Baptist pastor, Anatoliy Sapsay, and three Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests from L’viv: Father Roman Fihas, Father Yuriy Koslovsky, and Father Oleh Kindiy.
What is your situation?
Bomb sirens were audible during the call, and as the head of a large University dormitory, Father Yuriy had to bring the remainder of 500 students to bomb shelters. It had been the fourth time that day, and so students were “getting used” to the practice. However, every time the siren would go off, the combination of adrenaline and a feeling of dread were almost overwhelming.
Father Oleh and his family were in the car during the call, as they had to evacuate the neighbourhood they had been visiting. Father Oleh shared that thousands were arriving in L’viv every day, and schools, sports halls, and University buildings were being used to shelter refugees. His parish had been collecting items for refugees—mainly food and clothing. Every day they hear bomb sirens, although no bombs had hit L’viv itself yet. Every morning at 6:30am, Father Oleh serves the liturgy and ten times as many people are coming for confession. The church has a big basement, as it is one of the larger, official bomb shelters—it now serves as both a spiritual and a physical defence for the people. Father Oleh shared that amidst these trials, he can feel God’s presence, and that spiritual unity and truth are also present.
Father Roman’s brother and brother-in-law are currently fighting in the Ukrainian military, and his brother initially urged him to flee to Poland with his children. Father Roman sees it as positive that there is a renewed understanding of the conflict among the international community: this is not an inner Ukrainian conflict, but the source of the conflict is external. Father Roman expressed pride in being Ukrainian, and in seeing how many volunteers are ready to sacrifice their lives to protect their country. He has received a lot of emails of support outside of Ukraine, including offers to house him in a different country, but his family is staying to serve and pray for Ukraine.
Anatoliy’s family of six is hosting a family of three in their own home. He is witnessing churches widely opening their doors to host refugees in their homes and in church buildings. (For example, one church in the outskirts of L’viv is hosting 82 individuals!) Centralised mechanisms and structures for resettling refugees in Western Ukraine have been set up. Mobile connection, electricity, and water are thankfully still functioning, although issues had been expected. Anatoliy is a reservist in the Ukrainian Army and may be called up any day.
What gives you hope?
Christians in Ukraine are united, which is a big sign of hope. The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches (comprising 16 churches and religious organisations) showed their united support for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, blessed Ukrainian soldiers, asked the international community to stop the Russian invasion, and wrote a letter to Putin. Even the Ukrainian Orthodox leaders, with a link to the Moscow Patriarchate, compared Putin’s actions to the murder of Cain.
- Small and big victories of the Ukrainian Army;
- Words of solidarity and prayer from all the world;
- Knowing that God is in control, and feeling peace, despite what the situation looks like.
Finally, one church leader said, “What gives me hope, are meetings like this.”
How can we pray for you?
“Please don’t stop praying, because we need God’s protection and wisdom for how to react to this ever-changing situation.” (Anatoliy Sapsay)
- Pray for a good understanding of the situation and for truth to be apparent
- Pray for people to stay and help protect the democratic values of Ukraine
- Pray for “Peaceful Skies”
How can we support you?
- Advocate for Ukraine in your media outlets
- Provide solid sources on Facebook
- Spread information on criminal activities of the Russian Federation’s army
- Join in humanitarian giving
- Help individual people
- Put pressure on governments to place a “no fly zone” over Ukraine, since the sirens are also meant to intimidate the Ukrainian people
- Keep in touch. The good word of support means everything.
- Read article of the Ukrainian Catholic University, “Is it just the war of Ukrainians or also mine? – How can you help Ukraine now?” https://ucu.edu.ua/en/news/how-you-can-help-ukraine-now/
Information about Ukraine
Recent News of Ukrainian Journalists and Bloggers: https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/
Information on Ukrainian National Identity and Ukrainian-Russian Conflict:
Dominic Sandbrook, “Kyiv will rise again. Putin can bomb its cities — but Ukraine will endure”https://unherd.com/2022/02/kyiv-will-rise-again/
Analysis of political science specialist, Ivan Krastev: https://tvthek.orf.at/profile/Langfassung/13893271/Langfassung-Politologe-Krastev-zum-Ukraine-Krieg/14126273/Langfassung-Politologe-Krastev-zum-Ukraine-Krieg/15115885
List of how you can support Ukraine best and information in several languages: https://supportukrainenow.org
How to Financially Support Ukraine
Individual: Anatoliy Sapsay
Support for the local church in L’viv and the refugees it hosts
Support from UK: Sort Code: 40-35-35; Account Number: 01390376
Individual: Father Oleh Kindiy
IBAN: UA64 3220 0100 0002 6201 3265 2262 4
Account No: 26201326522624Receiver: KINDII OLEH, 79021, Ukraine, reg. Lvivska, c. Lviv, st. Kulparkivska, build. 130, fl. 33
Bank: JSC UNIVERSAL BANK, City: KYIV, UKRAINE, Swift code: UNJSUAUKXXX
Details of payment: It is very important to specify the purpose of the payment correctly. If you are an individual, indicate that this is a Private Transfer; if the payment is made by a legal entity, indicate it as Honorarium.
Baptist Church Rosenheim, Germany
- Update (17 March): Currently no transports, but they still run 10 soup kitchens in Zhitomir/UA. If someone wants to support them financially, please do. This will help buying food and medical supplies.
- 27 Feb: We resume our aid transports from Sunday, since entry without customs formalities was promised. If someone wants to support us financially, we still have more than 10 soup kitchens in operation. All of them are still delivering food. Otherwise, there are transports from northern and southern Bavaria and Saxony: we need clothing, bedding, towels, bandages, cuddly toys, but also durable dishes (plastic, enamel), pots.
IBAN: DE54 7719 0000 0107 2356 40
Reference: für Ukraine Hilfe JVV, Account: Evang. Kirchengemeinde Ludwigstadt
Für Spender aus Deutschland ist eine Spendenbescheinigung möglich!
More Information: https://www.j-v-v.de/aktuelles/ and contact: Uwe Gottwald +49 176 58623848
OM Hungary / International
Contact Amy Williams: email@example.com, mention connection via Quo Vadis Institute and Verena
OM Hungary has a bus “Bus4Life” with which they will go to one of the border crossings between Hungary and Ukraine. They will work together with local churches and aid organisations to find a strategic place to park the B4L to be able to receive refugees, give them nourishments, and bring them to an accommodation. As they come on the B4L, they also want to give them a listening ear and offer prayer. If necessary, they can also provide clothing, blankets etc.
- Finances to be able to cover transport costs, food for volunteers, food and other needs for refugees
- A driver (with appropriate license) for the bus
- Hungarian and international volunteers, preferably people who speak Russian/Ukrainian, but English/German speakers also welcome
Artistic opportunity to help Ukrainian refugees: If you’re watching the Ukraine situation and want an opportunity to serve, OM Hungary is organizing ministry at their border with Ukraine. OM Hungary Arts would LOVE to have artists come and be part of this ministry. From helping bring beauty, to arts in trauma ministry, to running art workshops of different kinds, they’re totally open to ideas and ways to serve. Message Amy if you’re interested and she can forward you more info as plans for volunteers shape up. Meantime the bus has arrived at the border (on Wednesday the 2nd) and will remain there for the month of March. If you can’t come but have an idea for how to minister, please let Amy know! She is open to input.
Operation Mobilisation Österreich, Sparkasse Oberösterreich, IBAN: AT52 2032 0321 0027 1330, BIC: ASPKAT2L XXX, Reference: OM Hungary Crisis in Ukraine
To raise funds for Ukraine, see: https://www.om.org/at/content/ukraine
Or via OM´s Web Donation page: https://www.om.org/at/content/anderes-projekt-deiner-wahl
If you want to raise funds in General for the Ukraine crisis you can find specific information and giving opportunities under: https://www.om.org/at/content/ukraine
Biblijne Stowarzyszenie Misyjne (Wycliffe Poland)
Have been providing relief for Roma and Sinti in UA for 20 years, now extending into the humanitarian work as a result of war.
IBAN PL32 1050 1096 1000 0001 0178 4874, Reference: Ukraine Support
More Information: bsm.org.pl
The first estimations assume about 70,000 refugees via Moldova, probably it will be much more. In total, the UN currently assumes 4 million refugees from Ukraine. Our staff on the ground in Moldova is in full action. Since yesterday, February 25, we are part of the national task force of the Ministry in Moldova and offer direct assistance to Ukrainian refugees through all channels. This is currently mainly:
- Assistance in the distribution of relief goods
- transport services from the border to Chisinau
- Accommodation of refugees
- Catering of the border personnel
Account number: IBAN AT66 3200 0000 0703 4499, BIC: RLNWATWW, Reference: Emergency aid.
Quo Vadis Institute
We as the Quo Vadis Institute want to help as well. We are not a relief organisation, but the situation is exceptional. Please make sure the payment is referenced “Support for Ukraine”. 100% of the donated amount will be passed on to those in need.
From the US: make a donation through the National Christian Foundation or directly via the “Ukraine Rapid Response Fund” (via this link, then in section 3 note that it is for Quo Vadis). The other option is to do a fund to fund transfer directly to the Quo Vadis Fund #1517570 or you can write a physical check to NCF Orlando (15 N. Eola Drive Orlando, FL 32801, Ph: 407.401.9414, Orlando@ncfgiving.com) and put ‘NCFO Ukraine Rapid Assistance Fund #4121859‘ in the memo line.
From Europe: Follow this link to the Quo Vadis Ukraine Relief Fund (#173033P1) or donate via IBAN AT12 3400 0058 0449 2856, Reference: “Support for Ukraine”
Downloads (free to share):
Read the ‘EEA Response for Ukraine’ (European Evangelical Alliance) for members of our network only (password protected, due to security issues).
Public Details: https://www.europeanea.org/ukraine-crisis-response/
Author: Stefania Knecht
Photo Credit: Stefania Knecht (Lviv, Ukraine)