Imagine waking up one morning and turning on the television, only to discover that your country is now at war. Within days, the men in your family leave to serve in the armed forces.

For Daniela and her mother, Anna, this was their brutal reality a little over a year ago. ‘Life became very difficult,’ Daniela said. ‘We live only on my mother’s small pension.’

Daniela and Anna were thankful to receive support from one of our Christian Partners in Eastern Europe, including packages of essentials to help them survive. Now, Daniela is helping displaced families in the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine where she lives, and she has established a shelter for lost dogs in her neighbourhood. Anna feeds the dogs every morning, and they are both in constant communication with people in the community, looking for ways to assist.

‘We help others, which in return helps us to reduce our own stress.’

Help Through God’s Family

It’s difficult to believe that it’s been over a year since the war in Ukraine began. A year since we witnessed millions of people forced to flee their homes for a life of uncertainty, or to remain without reliable access to food, electricity, and basic services like healthcare.

But amidst the uncertainty, hope abounds. Baptist churches around the world haven’t ceased in their efforts to stand with Christians in Eastern Europe, as together we support those in need. It’s a wonderful embodiment of the body of Christ reaching beyond borders, for ‘if one part suffers, every part suffers with it’ (1 Corinthians 12:26)

Here are three ways our Christian Partners, along with Baptist churches in Eastern Europe, have supported people impacted by the war in Ukraine:

Emergency Relief in Ukraine

In many parts of Ukraine, artillery and rocket attacks continue in civilian-occupied areas, endangering lives and damaging critical infrastructure. Millions live without access to many of life’s necessities, such as water, food, healthcare, sanitation, gas, and electricity.

Our Christian Partners have been providing food packages and essential items such as hygiene supplies, mattresses and blankets to people living in Ukraine, so they can survive. One Partner helped provide over 320,000 people with food across 52 locations in Ukraine. They also distributed gas and electric generators to help meet people’s needs, along with water purification systems for accommodation facilities.

Hospitality in Slovakia and Poland

According to the UNHCR, more 8.1 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded across Europe since the war began, many of them living in Slovakia and Poland.

Our Partner helped provide 1,171 people in Slovakia and 661 in Poland with temporary and long-term accommodation through a network of host families and churches. Some only stayed overnight on their journey further west, others stayed for six months, others still ongoing.

Our Partner is also working with Christian organisations in Slovakia and Poland to help displaced Ukrainians meet their long-term needs, supporting them with employment, placement in schools, legal help, evacuation assistance, transport, trauma counselling, and health care services.

Support through the wider Baptist Church

Baptist Unions across Eastern Europe are responding to the needs around them, providing support in different ways, such as providing care packages, supporting for people with disability, providing transport, running summer camps for children, and raising awareness on risks like trafficking.

The Baptist Union of Ukraine recently distributed 229 generators to churches across the country and are helping to pay church utility bills. And in the village of Bosivka, a church with only five members has been faithfully baking bread for the past ten months and bringing it to a nearby remote village without its own supermarket or bakery.

This kind of ‘aid’ doesn’t just help people with their immediate needs; it also nurtures hope—as it did for Daniela and Anna. ‘Their story is not uncommon in today’s Ukraine,’ our Christian Partner in Eastern Europe said.

‘Our local partners witness the amazing strength and resilience of people whose lives were drastically changed by the war, but at the same time influenced by the almost contagious power of helping others.’

Baptist World Aid is committed to providing ongoing support as the crisis continues.  For many, missile strikes, displacement, lack of food, and lack of electricity is still an everyday reality. You can continue to stand with us by giving to our ongoing appeal today.