Church of God Coordinates Winter Relief for Ukraine
By Carl Stagner
When the present crisis in Ukraine began early this year, much of the winter season had already passed. Throughout the ongoing war, refugees and internally displaced persons have continued to deal with unimaginable difficulties—even long after the conflict faded from global headlines. As the cold of winter approaches fast, the Church of God in and beyond Ukraine has rallied together to proactively address the needs to come.
Church of God Disaster Relief and Restoration is working closely with the Church of God in both Germany and Hungary to provide winter relief. In light of critically damaged or destroyed infrastructure, energy is hard to come by, if not completely inaccessible. Winter provisions are necessary to offer running water, heat, warm clothes, and food during the cold months. In Kiev, for example, the average high in January is just 30 degrees (F); snow and wind are seasonal hardships when the country isn’t engaged in conflict—the weather conditions this time of year only exacerbate a precarious situation.
Through the Church of God in Germany, generators and gas stoves are offering the necessary energy households require. In partnership German host churches, supplies made available to Ukrainian families include 2 generators, 1 bed, dishes, chairs, a table, a washing machine, 30 mattresses, and 10 boxes of clothes and shoes. The Church of God movement celebrates funds already disbursed from Church of God Disaster Relief and Restoration, which made it possible for the purchase of 20 gas stoves, 10 3,500-watt generators for homes, 3 7,000-watt generators for churches, 8 supply batteries, and 6 inverters, among other necessities.
Through the Church of God in Hungary, winter coats, blankets, generators, and even Christmas gifts are also being arranged for the internally displaced via relief trips into the war-torn country.
In a recent podcast interview for A World of Good, the need for assistance was underscored in view of the imminent chill in the air. An influx of refugees is expected this winter, and help from God’s people is crucial for survival. The situation appears bleak, but the hope of Church of God leaders in Ukraine is unshakeable.
One leader from Ukraine, in that podcast episode, reflected on the circumstances her people continue to face. “In the middle of the war, God gave me an amazing time of peace and I know it will continue. It’s what God does in our personal lives. The journey we’re having with God as Christians continues even though the war started. So, it doesn’t matter what’s going on outside, we still have this journey on the inside.”
With the help of generous donors across the United States and Canada, Church of God Disaster Relief and Restoration plans to fuel the work into 2023. The opportunities for partnership that produces tangible relief and restoration are many, and the evidence of God at work is already everywhere. Please continue to offer your prayerful and financial support. Thank you!
If you would like to walk alongside our Ukrainian church family, donations can be made to Church of God Disaster Relief. Your gift helps provide both emergency aid to those who remain in Ukraine, as well as critical assistance to those who choose to flee as refugees.
Feature (top) photo: Ukrainian refugees work alongside host churches in Germany to gather and transport winter relief to those who remain in Ukraine.