Multiple Christian humanitarian aid groups have launched relief efforts for churches in Ukraine amid Russia's invasion of the eastern European nation.
The Slavic Gospel Association (SGA), a U.S.-based Christian group in Illinois, is currently working to support Ukrainian churches as some Christians shelter in place amid shelling by Russian forces.
"We have a very urgent situation, I beg you to understand, we are again sitting in the basement with children under the howl of sirens. I don't know how it will be tomorrow, we got groceries, and we are distributing them," the group quoted an SGA-supported pastor in a tweet on Saturday.
Erick Mock, SGA's vice president of ministry operations, shared that the group is working to send supplies to churches in Ukraine.
"While others are fleeing, local churches are engaging to provide food, winter clothes, blankets and medicines for thousands of at-risk people, including orphans, abandoned children with special needs, the elderly, those uprooted by the conflict, and marginalized ethnic groups," Mock said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.
He added that Ukrainian churches are "bravely rushing to help those in need right now. They're unstoppable in the face of this crisis."
According to The Christian Post, SGA, established in 1934, is ready to provide 175,000 meals through its partnership with over 2,300 Ukrainian and Russian pastors and more than 40 churches in Eastern Ukraine, where the conflict is most prominent.
Samaritan's Purse, a Christian international humanitarian aid group led by evangelist Franklin Graham, recently deployed disaster response specialists to Poland and Romania to see how the organization can provide emergency relief to Ukraine from the neighboring countries.
"Samaritan's Purse has been closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine for weeks," Graham said in a statement. "We have deployed members of our Disaster Assistance Response Team to surrounding countries and are standing ready to help meet emergency needs resulting from the crisis. Please join me in praying for the people of Ukraine and for this conflict to end quickly."
The organization is currently working toward providing more than 600,000 gift-filled Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for children through its partnership with over 3,000 churches across Ukraine and ministry partners.
World Vision has also announced relief efforts for Ukraine amid growing concerns of violence, exploitation, and abuse of children who could be separated from their parents after being displaced from their homes and communities. The international Christian aid organization is providing aid packages, such as hygiene and child-friendly kits, to those in need.
Additionally, World Vision has a team in Romania organizing a cross-border response in Moldavia to assist incoming refugees from Ukraine.
On Monday, Russian and Ukrainian delegates met in Belarus to negotiate a possible ceasefire between both countries after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an invasion of Ukraine last week.
According to The Epoch Times, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asserted that the country will not surrender to Russia regardless of whether negotiations fall through.
"Ukraine is ready to continue seeking a diplomatic solution, but Ukraine is not ready to surrender or capitulate," Kuleba told CNBC on Monday.
"I'm a diplomat, I have to believe in the success of talks, but at the same time, my main goal as a diplomat now is to impose more sanctions on Russia, to bring more weapons to Ukraine, and to isolate Russia as much as we can in the international arena, so I'm focused on this part of diplomacy," he continued. "We stand not only for ourselves but for the world order as we all know it."
While the exact death toll remains unknown, the U.N. human rights chief noted that 102 civilians have been killed and hundreds more wounded in just five days of fighting. Another U.N. official said that 500,000 people have fled Ukraine as of Monday, including millions more who have left their homes.
Photo courtesy: ©Egor Lyfar/Unsplash.jpg
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.