Christian Groups Rush to Help Ukraine
From the Christian Post: International Christian relief groups Samaritans’ Purse and World Help are standing alongside the Ukrainian Church to provide aid to victims as Russia’s full-scale military invasion of Ukraine enters into the third day Saturday with Russian troops storming toward Ukraine’s capital.
Explosions and artillery fire could be heard in the streets of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv Friday night and street fighting with Russian forces was going on early Saturday, The Guardian reported, adding that residents had been urged to seek shelter, avoid going near windows or on balconies.
Saturday morning, a residential apartment building near the international airport in Kyiv was struck by a Russian missile attack, Kyiv Independent reported, adding that no deaths had been reported and that people across the country were taking shelter underground and in subway stations.
The street clashes in Ukraine have resulted in “hundreds of casualties,” The Associated Press reported.
Amid the suffering and chaos, Evangelical humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse said it had deployed disaster response specialists to Poland and Romania, where Ukrainian refugees were arriving in large numbers.
More than 50,000 Ukrainians had fled the country as of Friday night, “many more are moving toward its borders,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi was quoted as saying. Another 50,000 Ukrainians had left the country in anticipation of the war, Reuters reported earlier.
Grandi said Thursday that more than 100,000 people had moved within Ukraine to flee violence.
Experts have warned that a prolonged war could displace millions of Ukrainians, leading to large-scale humanitarian crisis.
“We have deployed members of our Disaster Assistance Response Team to surrounding countries and are standing ready to help meet emergency needs resulting from the crisis,” said evangelist Franklin Graham. “Please join me in praying for the people of Ukraine and for this conflict to end quickly.”
The specialists, which include medical staff, are assessing needs in Ukraine’s neighboring countries as a result of Russia’s invasion, which began Thursday. The group, led by Graham, is also speaking to partner churches and organizations in Ukraine “to prepare and implement a strategic disaster response.”
The group, which works with more than 3,000 churches across Ukraine, has also prepared an Emergency Field Hospital for overseas shipment “in the event that it is needed.”
The organization will also distribute over 600,000 gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for children through those churches and ministry partners.
Christian group World Help, through local churches and Christian nonprofits, is also providing emergency essentials for over 1,000 displaced Ukrainians.
“Our hearts are breaking for the people of Ukraine,” said Kraig Cole, director of International Partnerships for World Help, which serves the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world.
“We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and we want to get people the help they need as soon as possible,” Cole explained. “We’ve been preparing for a Russian invasion, but I don’t think anyone predicted an attack like this. … We have no idea how the situation in Ukraine will escalate. We’re just getting started.”
Cole also urged the Christian community in America to provide help. “No one is powerless to help. Even a small gift can go a long way toward helping a person survive as they flee what is quickly becoming a full-scale warzone. This is our chance to follow the example of the Good Samaritan and to go out of our way to help someone who is hurting.”
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden Friday night signed an order to provide up to $600 million to Ukraine — up to $350 million in military aid, and $250 million for “overall assistance.”
(From The Christian Post. Photo Credit: TISZABECS, HUNGARY – FEBRUARY 27: People walk with their belongings at the Tiszabecs-Tiszaujlak border crossing as they flee Ukraine on February 27, 2022 in Tiszabecs, Hungary. Refugees from Ukraine have fled into neighboring countries such as Hungary, forming long queues at border crossings, after Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine earlier this week. Photo by Janos Kummer/Getty Images.)
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