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The Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

I have been asked by numerous folks at St. John’s, Hopewell and others how we might help the Ukrainians with the horrific situation in which they find themselves. Watching the news and seeing the devastation inflicted by a such a ruthless authoritarian oligarch has given me sleepless nights since the beginning of this slaughter. I have tried to put myself in a Ukrainian family’s shoes and have wondered what I would feel and do in such a situation.

If this were happening in the United States, I think I would do what most are doing in Ukraine. I would send my family to safety and stay to fight for my homeland, whatever it took. I find myself weeping for those families split apart; they not knowing what comes next, or where to go, or what to eat, and for their homeland.

Watching freedom escape these people makes me wonder why we are fighting so with ourselves, splitting up our values and future democratic ideals between two parties who would rather see the American dream fail rather than to humble themselves, going after their own agendas.

It is time to work together to uplift democracy throughout the world by showing Putin and his cronies, along with other dictators that American Democracy is solid, unshakable, and will stand against authoritarian aggression at home and abroad lest we find ourselves in a situation like Ukraine.

In the meantime, it is incumbent upon us to do something to help with this overwhelming humanitarian crisis. I told Kathy, if I could just go over to Poland or Romania, or even Germany to sponsor and bring a family back to my home, I would do it. However, the United States have not done anything to accept Ukrainian refugees at the moment. As this crisis continues, sponsoring a family may be an option later on.

Therefore, I have consulted a number of Episcopal Church agencies to find out what we could do now. The best answer I have found thus far is by sending humanitarian aid through the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund (ERD). The Episcopal Church USA has many resources we do not have as a small to medium parish in Hopewell, Virginia. ERD has set up a fund called the Ukraine Crisis Response Fund. If you would like to contribute to this fund, you are welcome to click on the highlighted text above to go straight to the ERD page to help the Ukrainian people. Go to our web page to donate on-line or send a check made out to St. John’s Church and designate in the memo for ERD – Ukraine Crisis, we will get it to the appropriate place.

I have pledged $500.00 from the Rector’s Discretionary Fund for this crisis and have personally pledged to help financially as well. I hope you will give to this fund along with me, to help those fleeing for safety, as Mr. Putin’s War to take over Ukraine with terror continues.

Please continue to pray:

Gracious and Merciful God, we pray today for the Ukrainian people and ask for Your intervention in this senseless war levied against them by Russia. We pray, O God, for protection and that there would be peace. We pray for restoration and renewed hope. We pray for the families, especially, the children living through the horrors of war and all the upheaval and tribulation it brings. We also pray for those protesting in Russia against these violent acts by their government. We ask that You would protect, cover and keep these protesters as they put their bodies on the line in the name of what is just and righteous. We pray for the entire world community, including the leaders in our own country. Give them wisdom and ingenuity to respond in ways that ends this war and moves us all to a world where Your peace abides. Hear the cries of Your people, O God. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Amen.

I will keep you posted if I find other ways to help in this crisis. As always, I am yours in Christ. Fr. Bill+


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