First Person: Southern Baptists’ Ukrainian Response

We have all been grieving over the events surrounding the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army on Feb. 24. For me, it is especially personal. Our family served in Kyiv, Ukraine, for 10 years, helping plant churches and training church leaders. Because of dedicated Baptist mission work, churches in Ukraine were some of the most missions-minded churches in the world, sending out missionaries across the Russian-speaking world and elsewhere even during the communist years of the Soviet Union.

Because of the recent events, futures are unclear for churches. Families have been separated, lives have been put in danger, and believers are asking how they can serve needs and honor God in the midst of this tragedy. At the same time, I just received an email from a lady whose displaced family is staying in a Baptist church in Kyiv. She said the love, hospitality, and care of the church members has been overwhelming. It seems that at the most difficult times, the love and grace of God shines through His people to the world!

Our hearts are broken as it is reported that up to 5 million people will eventually be displaced and become refugees in countries like Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. The need for ministry in those areas is just beginning.

People have been asking about how to help and how to pray. Send Relief of the Southern Baptist Convention is currently assessing the needs and working with our Baptist partners both in Ukraine and in the border countries to provide resources and support. They have also produced a prayer guide to call people to focused prayer. To access the prayer guide as well as to give directly to Ukrainian relief efforts, go to Sendrelief.org.

— Robbie McAlister is people group specialist for the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s SEND Team. This article first appeared on the SCBC website.