In the wake of the war in Ukraine, millions of people have been displaced. American churches have lamented yet struggled to know how to help believers in Ukraine. The world has felt its effects in raised gas and food prices. But no one has felt it more than the people of Ukraine. Even the leaders at King’s Cross have felt the weight of so much need but with little bandwidth to handle all that it requires.
Enter Tim and Bert Shiarla.
HELPING THE HELPLESS
Back in March, they felt God laying on their hearts to not only give financially but to become involved with families that have taken in Ukrainian refugees into their homes. Of course, this posed lot of questions on how this would practically work with little or no answers. Determined to help, they pressed in rather than push it away.
Originally, they thought about gathering a team to help support a family for a year. This team would make a personal contact with a host family and eventually a Ukrainian refugee family, whether over email or zoom. They brought this to Sam and he got them connected with the Regional Director for Act 29 in Slovakia and Poland.
After a Zoom call, Tim and Bert were able to get in contact with a some pastors in Slovakia who were helping Ukrainian refugees, like Pastor Ervin. He works as a pastor, holds another job, and puts a large portion of his time working with refugees. He meets with them weekly and prays with them. Most refugees he encounters are not Christians, but some are going to church. As Pastor Ervin says, “The Ukrainians are our family. We are all the family of God and we HAVE to help our family.”
Watch this video to learn more about how Slovakia churches are helping Ukrainian refugees
Tim and Bert have felt the stress Slovakian churches and Ukrainian refugees are going through yet have heard of God working in so many ways. Churches in the US as well as Acts 29 have helped provide money for practical needs. Pastor Ervin and his congregation currently supports over a dozen families. They help provide these families with apartments and houses, jobs (which are low paying jobs because they do not speak Slovakian), and food and basic necessities.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Tim and Bert were impressed with the giving hearts of the pastors, who are dedicated to helping as many Ukrainian refugees as they can, even though they and their families might suffer. We want to lift some of their burdens, not give them more. So here are a two practical ways to get involved:
1. Pray for the Slovakian Congregations and Ukrainian Refugees
Pastor Ervin said that prayer is their number one request. Though money is always helpful, prayer is going to be most helpful. Pray that the Ukrainian refugees can find true freedom in Christ and not just from oppressive leaders. Pray that Slovakian believers can beautifully demonstrate the love of Christ through sacrificial giving to those in need.
2. Give to refugee relief efforts in Slovakia
Money doesn’t solve all issues, but it certainly helps provide for practical needs, such as rent and food. Since we have a partnership with Acts 29 and their work with these Slovakian churches and pastors, we trust that the funds will be used honestly and to truly help. You can give at our Sunday morning worship gathering. Write checks to King’s Cross Church and mark in the memo “Ukrainian Refugee Fund.” We also have envelopes you can use for cash donations. Just mark them for the Ukrainian Refugee Fund. Once we have gathered donations for a few weeks, we will send the full amount to the church relief efforts in Slovakia. Or you can click on the button below to give online.