Editor’s Note: Romanian Baptists and IMB missionaries are responding to the influx of refugees from Ukraine. In a country where Southern Baptists have been active for more than 100 years, God continues to build His church and use those uniquely positioned to serve those in need. Here are a few stories from the Romanian-Ukraine border.
One of the pivotal roles in working with refugees is the translator. These young women are Ukrainians who cross a northern border of Romania to work at the shelter at Califindesti Church on three-day rotations. They speak Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian and English. It’s not a cozy job. They are available long hours for translating documents, personal communication, logistics and crises. They are volunteers who leave their husbands and families to share the grace and hope of Christ with more than 70 people every day who are at the beginning of a long, cold and unknown journey. They are invaluable to the work.
Little bit of comfort
Pastor C. is one of many Romanian believers who are taking Ukrainian families into their homes when they first cross the border. The churches in this part of Romania are not large, and although some churches are using their buildings as shelters, it’s also effective for individual families to open their homes to welcome Ukrainians for the night. The process takes patience and intentionality. Only registered officials can go all the way to the border crossing. Two men from churches near Suceava have permission to enter the area, and they are able to greet families and direct them to believers who wait down the road. There is always potential for some with ill motives to be present, but that realization causes the believers to work harder and longer, in the freezing weather. Please remember these Romanian believers in prayer as they give of themselves to share hope and provide comfort.
Heavy heart and eyes filled with tears
A church member wearing a yellow vest speaks with Christians who are receiving refugees crossing the border. The church member has documents permitting him to travel to the border to meet refugees. He often stands with tears in his eyes as he hears their horrific stories. Many were leaving their husbands, who needed to stay and fight, to bring their children to safety. The church member introduces them to other church members who wait down the road. They then help the refugees find accommodations and necessities.
Translators and volunteers convene in a shelter established by Califindesti Church in Romania.
Send Relief and IMB missionaries are in Romania and are coming to the aid of fleeing Ukrainians. Watch the video below to learn more.