Baptist World Aid Director Marsha Scipio convened a BFAD (Baptist World Alliance Forum for Aid and Development) coordination call with representatives from more than 25 Baptist unions and aid organizations, resulting in more than $200,000 raised within 48 hours of the first airstrike
“The level of support our global Baptist family is demonstrating to not just the Ukrainian Baptists, but also to the communities in which they serve, is a testament to the strength and generosity of the global Baptist movement,” said Scipio. “It is a privilege to come alongside courageous Ukrainian pastors who are keeping the church doors open amid inconceivable trepidation, transforming their churches into places of refuge for the displaced. With BFAD, we will continue to respond to the myriad of needs as a people who believe Biblical compassion requires action.”
A video update from General Secretary Brown was distributed to the BWA’s network of Global Impact Churches, calling for prayer and support, as well as a call to action to all 245 member bodies in 128 countries and territories. BWA President Tomás Mackey offered pastoral support, issuing a statement in both English and Spanish.
“We regret that the humanitarian, economic, political, and other consequences of these actions are serious and painful,” said Mackey. “We have hope in the knowledge that God is at work in the world he loves and in which he has placed us as his disciples who learn from Ukrainian refugees who fled into Poland are welcomed at a Baptist church in Chelm. Jesus how to live with integrity the values of his kingdom and how to reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit.”
BWA leaders across various departments – including BWAid, BWA Women, Integral Mission, and Global Partnerships – connected with Baptist leaders in Ukraine, Russia, and neighboring countries to express care and mobilize responses.
Baptists throughout Eastern Europe saw needs and responded in practical ways, acting as Christ’s hands and feet to serve the most vulnerable. Baptist churches in the westernmost region of Ukraine established their buildings as “Centers of Hope” to provide food and shelter for the displaced, serving more than 45,000 people within the first ten days of the war.
Along the Hungary-Ukraine border, ten Hungarian congregations within Ukraine provided care to thousands of internally displaced people, mostly women and children. Pastors and church members worked alongside Hungarian Baptist Aid to prepare 500 warm meals each day as well as distributing clothes, hygiene kits, and medicine. In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Poland witnessed the largest influx of those fleeing with over 150,000 people crossing the border in the first week. Polish Baptists welcomed refugees into their homes, churches, and seminary with such generosity of spirit hat a border guard began to tell those crossing with no arranged destination to go directly to the nearest Baptist church for help. Volunteers worked around the clock to wash bed sheets, provide food, and check in new people arriving throughout the day.