Ukraine (MNN) — Russian advances may have slowed, but the Ukraine crisis is far from over.
The number of Ukrainian refugees entering Europe will hit seven million, the European Union predicts, creating the region’s worst refugee crisis since World War II. Brother Luis* oversees Christian Aid Mission’s work with ministry partners in the Middle East and Europe.
“[The] European Union is preparing for three years of this situation, but it’s very hard to predict,” Brother Luis says.
“The Syrian refugee crisis is 12 years old, and refugees are still there in all these countries, so very hard to tell (when the Ukraine crisis will end).”
Believers in Eastern Europe describe overwhelming needs. “The first countries receiving these refugees – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Moldavia, Romania – were not typically receiving refugees before [now],” Brother Luis says.
On average, one million refugees per week have crossed the border from Ukraine into a neighboring country since Russia’s invasion began. Most fled to Poland.
“Poland has already received over a million and a half [refugees],” Brother Luis says, describing how the influx stretches Poland to its breaking point. “Poland now is screaming, ‘Western Europe, please open the way for us to send you refugees because we cannot handle this anymore!”
Find your place in the story
Indigenous ministries in Eastern and Western Europe provide physical aid and the hope of Christ to Ukraine refugees. You can help through Christian Aid Mission. “The Body of Christ [is] meeting the need and thus showing God’s love and mercy,” Brother Luis says.
“We need to be praying for them: for strength, provision, protection; and then help them meet the need,” he adds.
“I’ve been receiving reports of how much [believers are] spending, and it’s astronomical. A church of 100 [members] is [providing shelter] for 500 people (refugees), and you need to feed them; they have other needs.”
In the header image, Ukrainian refugees offered meals, clothes, shelter in Kraków, Poland. (Wikimedia Commons)