As Russia continues to wage war against Ukraine, the effort to support WELS’ brothers and sisters in Ukraine has been blessed by our Lord Jesus. WELS has received more than $1.4 million from individuals and groups to support the Ukrainian Lutheran Church (ULC), WELS’ sister church body in the Ukraine, and its efforts to help members and others affected by the conflict.
WELS has sent more than $300,000 in aid to Ukraine. Approximately $200,000 has been sent to the ULC (as it has requested it) for clothing, food, medicine, and other supplies. About $100,000 has been sent to Direct Relief, an organization equipped to provide emergency medical supplies to those remaining in Ukraine or who are refugees in Poland. As the conflict continues, and as needs arise, additional funding will be sent. WELS also is anticipating significant rebuilding costs when, Lord willing, the war ends.
Rev. Roger Neumann serves the Board for World Missions as the WELS liaison to Ukraine. He maintains regular contact with ULC leaders and provides updates about how the aid is being used and how doors are opening to share the gospel, even in trying circumstances. These are just a few examples of the many ways people are hearing about the love of Jesus through your gifts.
- ULC Pastor Taras Kokovsky and his wife were asked to visit Latvia by Latvian Lutheran pastors to reach out to Ukrainian refugees who settled there. The goal of the trip is to determine how to best serve them and their spiritual needs, invite them to worship, and tell them about the ULC, so when they return they might find a church to attend.
- A member of Resurrection Lutheran in Kiev was able to get an additional package of food for a 72-year-old neighbor who is struggling to buy food.
- Liudmyla, a retired member of the ULC church in Kyiv, was having a difficult time getting her medications, and the church was able to supply them for her.
- Food and medical supplies are regularly being distributed to people in need in the communities around ULC congregations.
- After an outpatient hospital in the small town of Bereznehuvate was destroyed, a ULC church member who is a dentist there was provided with funds to purchase tools and medicine so that she can help those who need it.
- Bishop Horpynchuk, the head of the ULC, delivered soap, shampoo, toothpaste, detergents, etc., to members and visitors in Kyiv.
- Iryna from Bachmut and Valentyna from Brianka heard about the ULC church and attended worship. They told their stories of how they left home with only a few things and found shelter in Kyiv. Horpynchuk and his congregation shared with them food and drink, detergents and soap, and Christian love.
We thank our heavenly Father for the generous gifts that we’ve received, for Rev. Neumann’s faithful contacts, and for WELS World Missions’ partnership with the ULC.
To learn more or to support the relief efforts in Ukraine, visit wels.net/ukraine.