Skip links

United Methodists continue to support Ukrainians as war nears first anniversary (UM News)

December 22, 2022

Active Waiting and Preparing
“Our desire is that the war in Ukraine will end, but in this moment, they need an ambulance in Ukraine.”
This is what Superintendent Ivana Procházková (Czechia) said when an ambulance, fully loaded with
medical goods, was sent on its journey to Ukraine to become a blessing for many. And this is what
describes the attitude of those who stand by the side Ukrainian people – by those who left their homeland to (temporarily) live in a directly or indirectly neighboring country or in other parts of Europe; and by those who currently live in the Western part of Ukraine as Internally Displaced Persons. Together with Brothers and Sisters in Ukraine, many helpers and their congregations are praying, hoping, longing for peace. But as there is no peace yet, they are continuing to faithfully respond to the needs of the people who have lost so much. Waiting takes a very active, faithful and often courageous shape.

Yulia Starodubets (Ukraine) during a most recent meeting of the Coordinators of the Ministries with
Refugees from Ukraine, confirmed what is shared through many news channels. The destruction of the
energy supply impacts the situation in the whole country – in regard to water, heating, public
transportation (e.g. subway in Kyiv), communication. “In some parts of the country, electricity is more
episodic.” But she also underlined: “People don’t lose hope.” They “adjust to the situation and try to be
very creative”. That’s why generators are very important items these days – and they have been part of
more than one humanitarian aid transport, particularly from Romania to Ukraine.

The difficult situation regarding power and heating was among the main reasons why it was broadly
expected that the number of people leaving Ukraine would increase with the beginning of the winter. Jana Křížova, Coordinator in Czechia, however said: “We expected more refugees to come, but so far this did not happen.” This statement was echoed by Sarah Putman, Coordinator in Romania.

However, the leaders of the various ministries nevertheless continue to prepare for more refugees to
come, for instance by renovating and adapting facilities that have already been used as accommodations
for refugees from spring to fall 2022 and that need to be winterproof and more convenient for larger
numbers of people.

But if one takes a closer look, there are two developments that can be observed. Against the background of societies still open to welcoming refugees, “enthusiasm has lessened” as Sarah Putman from Romania put it. And, as Jana Křížova from Czechia stated that “there is a loud minority blaming the government for not doing enough for Czech people” who, for instance struggle with high energy costs.

This means that providing the leaders of the various ministries in Ukraine and neighboring countries with
material resources is one thing. An important thing. But taking into consideration that some of them served their neighbors for the last 10 months and now, in some cases, face a certain fatigue, it is equally important to pray for these people, for the renewal of their physical strength, for protection of their hearts and souls, for the dawning of a new hope that helps them to persevere and to not get used to the war.