My dear friends,
As I watch the news and what is taking place in Ukraine, I feel deeply for these amazing people who just a couple of years ago welcomed me worship in their congregations and hosted me in their homes. I try to imagine now the faces of the children I blessed, and the elderly I embraced. These are not just images on the television, they are people I carry in my heart and for whom I pray with deep compassion. Their churches and communities are in dire need for help.
In the last couple of days, I have been in touch with the pastors from our Eastern Europe network. The war in Ukraine is causing utter despair.
Our foundation took immediate measures to help the situation.
Today, the Board of Directors approved $10,000.00 to be sent on Monday to cover the urgent need for transportation, food, and shelter for the people in Ukraine and for those who escaped and now they need help.
Since this will be a long time commitment to work and support the needs of the families affected the ravages of war, we are asking for your help to partner with us in the following ways:
– Pray for the families. In some cases the women and the children crossed the border in Hungary, but the men are not allowed to leave.
– Help us raise funds. As it is true for all of our projects, 100% of your donations will be used for helping these needs. Nothing will be used for any administrative costs.
– Please mail the checks to:
Reach Out to Romania
5534 E. La Palma Avenue
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807
– PLEASE use your network of friends and churches to help us with this project. This is very important, because the strength is in numbers. Every dollar contributes to the whole project1
– If you would like to get more information, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at (949)-375-2215. I will be able to provide detailed information to any person interested.
Thank you for your consideration and willingness to help.
Rev. Dr. Paul Muresan
Reach out to Romania
The letter below was received from my friend and ministry partner, Pastor Peter Andras, from Budapest, Hungary.
Dear Brothers and Friends!
With the events of recent days, the terrible reality of war has come very close to us. The current events can be traced by the media. My goal now is to give a status report on the Ukrainian situation.
The congregations of our church are located in the Carpathian region, which have so far been free from direct battles. (Although today you could also hear news that Russian teams were seen in the western part of Ukraine, in the vicinity of Lviv/Lemberg.) The situation is very difficult. Men between the ages of 18-60 cannot cross the border, because they can be called to defend their country at any moment. Moreover, due to the war, the companies stopped production, so the majority of employees lost their jobs. Because of poverty, very few people have reserves, meaning they will have a real difficulty putting food on the table within a few weeks. In parallel with this, the prices of food and fuel have increased by three times – and they become less and less accessible.
We have connections with congregations in the Kiev region, which is in a much more difficult situation than us. Based on the report from one of the priests, the shelters were filled, and several members of the congregation were no longer able to find shelter. People have become vulnerable as street fights are going on in the vicinity of their homes. One of the churches was converted into a hospital, and members of the church are receiving training for first aid and nursing skills so they can help the injured.
In this situation, we see two main ways to help.
First of all, we want to help those who are stuck in Ukraine. We want to help those living in the Carpathian region or those who are in dangerous situations, by gathering emergency supplies. This means providing food, housing or other basic necessities.
(One of the refugee families from Ukraine, who were residing in our country, has already indicated that their home was handed over to a priest and his family who fled Kiev.)
Secondly to help those who want/can leave the country. There is a concern that many families (or children) don’t have a passport. There is a possibility to purchase a one-time border crossing permit which will enable them to escape. We are trying to help them with that cost.
Some people were able to cross the border, and now they need emergency shelters. At present, about a dozen people in Miskolc, and in Budapest we were able to help five people – this number will rise rapidly in the next few days.
We are a small church, our possibilities are limited. We want to do everything we can to be Christ’s extended hands to those in need. Today, our church has established a Community Aid Committee that tries to assess the needs we see and we will try to work out a coordinated plan for assistance.
Our hope is not in our strength and abilities, but in our compassionate High Priest, who knows our limitations (Hebrews 4:15-16), and is able to do all things abundantly above our requests (Ephesians 3:20-21).
During all these difficulties, it was wonderful to see the helpfulness that we experienced both at home and abroad. Within a few hours, several people offered their apartment or help in another way. Brothers from across the world are constantly assuring us they are praying for the situation in Ukraine and the people suffering from this war. They offer to help wherever they can. Tomorrow, multiple churches will pray together for the end of the war.
Let this be an encouragement to all affected by this situation: Jesus Christ is Lord of this world, and in his church the gates of hell shall not reap triumph even during war (Matthew. 16:18).
The most needed is still the fervent prayer, for the end of war as soon as possible, for the refugees to receive shelter and help, and also for us to see and help them with all we have.
“God is our refuge and strength; yes a sure help in adversity. We are not afraid if the earth would move, even if the mountains would collapse in the middle of the sea. Waves may shake, they may hide; mountains may fly away from their turmoil.” (Psalms 46:2-4)