When a native ministry’s church in Spain held a recent Sunday worship outdoors, most people thought nothing of a car honking amid some nearby traffic – but not the refugee children from Ukraine.
“Some children heard a loud noise from a car horn and ran to hide under the tables, very scared,” the leader of local ministry said. “That broke my heart. I ask you to pray for those children who wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares and who are frightened by any noise.”
Local missionaries are counseling and praying with traumatized refugees who managed to make the long trip from their homeland. Besides leaving their lives and loved ones behind, many suffered the shocks of bombing and artillery fire since Russia invaded in late February, and their journeys came with crises of scarcity for them and their children.
“Pray for their mothers and grandmothers who suffer because they have lost their loved ones, or have their children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters or fathers in the war,” the leader said. “Pray for wisdom to bring healing to their lives, but above all that they know Jesus – and when they return to their country one day, they can share God’s love and salvation with their friends and family.”
Tens of thousands of the nearly 6 million people who have fled Ukraine since the Feb. 24 invasion have arrived in Spain. Many of them had already heard of the leader’s ministry in Spain, and he and his team members asked themselves, “How?”
They quickly realized that word of their ministry had made it to Ukraine through the women victims of human trafficking they had helped the prior two years – even though many of the women had died from cancer.
“We never understood God’s plan with them – many of them, although they received Jesus and were baptized, died,” the leader said. “But they had been giving testimony of Jesus to their relatives in Ukraine by WhatsApp, or by phone, and they shared the gospel and about our work in Spain.”
Unknown to the trafficked women or their friends and relatives in Ukraine, the Lord was providing a glimpse to those in the homeland that His help was present in Europe, the leader said.
“God had been preparing the hearts of these people for this day when a terrible war forced them to leave their homes, but with the hope that God was in a faraway place in the country of Spain,” the leader said. “God’s ways are incomprehensible, but nothing is by chance. We are receiving people from Ukraine with willing hearts, and God has provided Ukrainian translators and volunteers to help them physically and spiritually.”
By faith that the necessary funds will arrive, the ministry has opened several centers for refugees that have quickly reached capacity. While the government supplies most of the resources for initial aid, local missionaries rely on donations to provide clothes, counselors, kindergarten and nursery care, glasses and mobile phones for refugees to connect with husbands and fathers on the front lines.
The ministry is helping refugees in various areas of Spain.
“We sent five trucks to the border with medicines, clothes, and food, but it’s just a drop of water in an ocean,” the leader said. “Now the most important thing is that they can have an encounter with Jesus.”
At the same time, local missionaries in and near Ukraine are braving dangerous conditions to provide aid to the internally displaced.
Working through Christian networks that only local missionaries would have, they recently sent medicines and medical equipment to a hospital in a town in Ukraine that then made it available to hundreds of suffering people in a major city, a local ministry director said.
Other medical aid was sent through a major partner to the same city in Ukraine, he said.
“The workers with the ministry partner helped us at the beginning with some electricity generators for Ukraine, and now we helped them to cover needs with medical supplements for Ukraine,” he said. “This will help a few hundred people.”
The local ministry sent funds to a partner organization in another country bordering Ukraine that was able to buy and send humanitarian aid to civilians in the war-battered country.
“Directly we are helping almost 200 people, and with the medical help we are sending there, we are also helping many more people,” the leader said.
He said he had another contact who helped his ministry distribute medicines and medical equipment in two other cities of Ukraine, providing relief for hundreds of suffering people. Likewise, his contact enabled the ministry to supply food and other aid in Ukraine and bring refugees to two border countries.
“This was delivered close to a city still being bombarded,” the leader said. “There is a place with more than 2,000 refugees. Altogether we directly have helped close to 3,000 people, and indirectly many more.”
Please consider a donation today to help local missionaries bring emergency aid and spiritual counsel to Ukrainian refugees and the internally displaced.