It is a challenging dawn. Two families hurriedly gather their personal belongings. The mothers cradle their most precious bundle - children whose lives are threatened by forces beyond their control. They head into the unknowing streets, searching for safety. One family made this journey 2,000 years ago. For the other, it was this past February. Both stories are recorded in history and etched in our hearts with searing pangs for these refugee families.
According to the United Nations, more than 8.4 million Ukrainians have fled the country, while another 8 million have been displaced within it. Nearly half of the refugees have settled in neighboring Poland. 90% of those fleeing are women and children, while their husbands and fathers remain to defend their homeland. It has been marked as the largest refugee crisis of the 21st century, and the world is watching in bewilderment.
In times of war, the Church has quickly mobilized humanitarian aid throughout the world. Here at Northland, we have a rich legacy of ministering to the displaced and suffering peoples in some of the world’s most hopeless places, thanks, in part, to our global partners on the field. Recently, Northland’s leaders and Missions department learned how the Church would position itself in response to the plight of Ukrainian refugees, with special emphasis on the struggles of widows and orphans and the displacement of Christian worshipers. A special collection was raised, and you responded by donating $5,338.70. In addition, $5,000 was given from the Missions budget to a total of $10,338.70 given to Ukraine partner ministries. We want to highlight some of the amazing ministry work enabled by your gift-giving to three of our global partners.
Music Mission Kiev humanitarian aid supplies: Each week, 455 widows, of which 110 are homebound, along with orphans from Starsa Basan, receive food and medicine. This is a big undertaking since some medicine has been difficult to locate, purchase, and deliver. Ten medical kits were purchased and delivered to one of the widow’s sons, who is serving on the front line. We understand the medical supplies are being used on civilian and military injuries. The widows themselves collected fifty of their own food vouchers and sent them to soldiers who needed food. One of the soldiers is a member of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and he has been to Northland three times. In the past four months, several eye surgeries for widows have been paid for, which is a common need for the elderly. Church planting in Western Ukraine has taken root with three pastors shepherding the internally displaced people.
Friends of Ukraine’s primary mission is to help widows and disabled orphans. During this difficult time, they are helping to secure shelters for the displaced and offer medical support to these disadvantaged populations. Friends of Ukraine has also broadened their mission scope on several fronts - to support the daily life of soldiers by distributing hygiene kits, rebuilding family homes that were destroyed by bombs, and providing humanitarian aid delivery and distribution.
Mission Poland is helping Ukrainian families find new homes in Warsaw along with meals, Bible training, and tangible services to meet their needs. Our Northland family members, Joe and Anna Losiak, have faithfully served the Polish nationals for twenty-eight years. The Losiak’s recently reported that they spoke and taught at twenty Polish churches, all with Ukrainian arrivals. They are working with local pastors to rent or buy youth hostels to house several hundred.
Much unrest has happened in the past few months but let us not forget how God orchestrated the massive diaspora of people throughout history so they may find Him. These stories include Abraham’s exodus to Canaan, Jacob and his family’s migration to Egypt during the great famine, the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, and Jesus’ time in Egypt as a boy to escape King Herod’s persecution.
Although God is ultimately the one orchestrating exoduses for His purpose, our role in the Great Commission is never stagnant. Believers should be living on mission, and the Northland family has faithfully shown that the Church will carry out restorative work - at home or abroad - to help people flourish as God intended. We remember Paul’s words to the Romans that we shall “not be overcome by evil and injustice, but to overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
Your prayerful giving has helped our frontline partners ease the hardships of the Ukrainian refugees while connecting the masses to our Lord and Savior, who was once Himself a refugee in a foreign land, lest we forget.
To learn more about these partners and ways you can pray for Ukraine, visit NorthlandChurch. net/Ukraine.