Q. You had the opportunity to travel to Romania and witness the work of our church partners on the ground. What are the needs and how are the churches responding?

There is a multitude of needs, but the biggest right now is providing safe places for people to rest and sleep and receive warm meals. Baptist churches in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Georgia have opened their churches to refugees, providing beds, food, and clothing to those in need.

In Romania, our friends at All4Aid have set up multiple ‘Houses of Grace.’ One is a warehouse that was donated by a local developer. South of Bucharest, the mayor of the municipality has generously offered a local kindergarten as a space for 40 Ukrainian refugees to stay long-term. In return, All4Aid will complete the work and leave a legacy for improved education in the community going forward. A small team of volunteers from Canada helped with the renovations needed. It is inspiring to see innovative partnerships such as this as people offer what they have to meet the needs of people in Jesus’ name.

Q. CBM is working with our partner, the European Baptist Federation to respond to needs in Moldova and Ukraine. Can you tell us more about this?

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and the refugee crisis has had a huge impact on its economy. Still, Moldavians have come together to respond to the needs of Ukrainian refugees. Since February 24th approximately 330,000 refugees have arrived in Moldova, many of whom later moved on to Romania. The Moldova Baptist Union is receiving refugees from Ukraine and responding in numerous ways. They are providing emergency shelter for 1,600 refugees in churches and Baptist camps. These shelters provide space to sleep, meals, and personal hygiene supplies. The Moldova Baptist Union is also providing care at a medical clinic and offering transportation to those who wish to travel onwards from Moldova to another destination.

The Ukrainian Baptist Union is currently operating about 600 emergency shelters in Baptist churches all across the country. These shelters are spaces for internally displaced persons to stay for a few hours or a couple of nights before moving on to another part of the country, or out of Ukraine entirely. The shelters provide food, a place to sleep, and personal hygiene supplies. Some shelters are also able to offer access to showers as well as clothing and other basic necessities. As food access within Ukraine becomes increasingly difficult, the Baptist Union has established channels for transporting food into Ukraine and eligible people out of Ukraine. A logistical centre has been established and includes a warehouse for storing goods and food before transporting it to shelters around the country.

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CBM’s immediate and near-term goals are to reach as many people as possible and relieve the needs of those suffering. More projects are already being planned to sustain and scale these efforts. We will remain committed to this work and will not waver in doing all we can to empower these local churches to live out the gospel in full during this time of crisis.

These are the days that future generations will know as history. In the uncertainty of this time, we must continue to live and be a witness to God’s loving embrace for the wounded and the weary. Please keep praying for peace and the shared work that we are empowered to do through your generosity.