• Jim Partridge

Ukraine - How do we respond?


Photo of Kiev in Ukraine
The city of Kiev in Ukraine
It has now been just over a week since the Russian government invaded Ukraine. For the first time, we are observing a war taking place live on our mobile phones and TV screens. 24-hour news channels, mobile technology and CCTV footage mean we are watching a horrific conflict unfold in front of our eyes.

And we can’t believe what we are seeing.

I have carried many emotions in the last week: anger, disbelief, shock, deep sadness. What do we do with these emotions? And how do we respond?

I am reminded of Psalm 46. A Psalm we explored, as a church, in 2020 as a global pandemic unfolded before us. A Psalm that begins with these words:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…

It is maybe understandable, and all too easy, for me to spend all my time focusing on the distressing news that we are seeing. But in a time like this, I need to be reminded to fix my eyes on the God who is everlasting, and I encourage you to try and do the same.

If you want to pray or provide practical support but are not sure how, here are a couple of suggestions:

PRAY

Of course, for the Christian, our first response is prayer. However, when faced with a large-scale situation, it can be difficult to know how to pray. I am grateful for the team at 24-7 Prayer who have developed prayer resources for us and I recommend this to youthere are resources here for you to pray on your own, in small groups or in families.

This helpful and insightful blog on the New Ground website may also help inform and guide your prayers.

GIVE

A number of people have contacted me to ask about ways we can give. There are local charities collecting essential supplies and transporting them to Poland and other nations where refugees are fleeing. It's amazing to see the way people have responded to such appeals.

At the same time, we need to exercise wisdom. Some local charities have been inundated with donations and have asked people to stop bringing items. Also, some global aid agencies are indicating that there are logistical complexities with distributing aid from across Europe in an uncoordinated way.

In an article today on the BBC News Website Sean Ryan, media director of Save the Children, said: "The best way to help is to make a cash donation." He said collecting supplies like blankets or infant formula means transporting heavy goods hundreds of miles, whereas cash can reach people quickly to buy what is needed.

The BBC article lists some of the major aid agencies that are working in Ukraine. Our friends at Tearfund have also launched a crisis appeal and you can read more about that here.

Within Newfrontiers, the ‘Catalyst’ sphere has many churches within Ukraine. They have launched an appeal and money given to them will go directly to churches working on the ground in cities and towns in Ukraine. If you would like to donate, here is the information:

Account Name: Catalyst Network of Churches
Account Number: 65626678
Sort Code: 08-92-99
IBAN (for International Transfers): GB24CPBK08929965626678
Reference: UKR

As a team, we are considering how we can coordinate a response through our Gift Days later in the year. Clearly, the need for funds to support refugees, provide medical supplies and rebuild communities is going to be real for many months and years ahead.


Lord, have mercy.
We pray for Ukraine.
Let your Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven.
We believe you are the one who makes wars to cease on the earth (Psalm 46 v 9)
Lord, have mercy.
Amen
Written by Jim Partridge, Senior Pastor of The King's Church Mid-Sussex


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