Over the days that followed, we exchanged messages daily as she huddled in the church cellar for safety. When able, she and her husband, a pastor, cautiously took to the streets to bring food to church members and check on the elderly. And on that first Sunday morning, as I was preparing to worship with my church family, I received a message that some brave souls came to worship with what she described as bombs for their accompaniment. The song they were singing – the classic hymn “Count Your Blessings.”

With her home damaged beyond livability just days later, she was forced to flee westward, but the next Sunday I received a message along with photos of a Ukrainian worship service. There were only four simple words in the description: Church no matter what.

Friends, that is what it means to be a brave woman.

And bravery abounds. This week I saw a picture of strollers, but it conveyed so much more. The image captured strollers that Polish moms left at the train station for Ukrainian refugees arriving with their children – most with only what they could carry. A practical source of help in an unimaginable situation. There was a need, and women showed up. In Moldova, a women’s ministry leader writes: “The first flood of refugees is now settled in our homes for the rooms are filled already at public schools and church buildings.

They need everything: food, clothes, personal hygiene products, etc. We have a family of four kids, oldest is eight and youngest 5 months, staying with us. Their daughter lost her winter shoes. They do not have any idea where it happened, so she wears flip flops. We will buy her shoes today.” When there is a need, women show up.

Like the widow at Zarephath, many of us might ask what can we do in the face of such great need? The answer for each of us – show up.

Pour out from what little we have and what the Lord provides. In that beautiful Bible story, the oil never ran dry. But the widow had to pour out before the Lord could fill back up.

Now is a time to pour out. Now is a time to be brave. And we are seeing it happen in churches where pews have made way for beds. At border crossings where guards tell those in need to go find the nearest Baptist church. May we pour out so that we can watch our miracle-working God provide. May we continue to be the church – no matter what.

Baptist women throughout Ukraine and in neighboring countries are serving faithfully, preparing meals for the thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees in the region.

Photo Courtesy of Francesco Malavolta