Thursday 10 March 2022

PdF Ukrainian Refugee Update

Hi friends,

It's been about a week since we last updated you on what's happening here at PdF. We've continued to receive refugees at the centre and until now we've had 80 Ukrainian refugees stay, all of whom have moved on to more permanent situations in Germany or other countries. We expect more to come any day now.

The PdF staff is a little overwhelmed with the extra work hosting so many people requires - the office staff, kitchen and housekeeping teams are working hard to organize, accommodate and feed everyone, and the staff and volunteers are providing transportation and hosting the families, often on a last-minute basis as we're never quite sure when they'll arrive and how.

One evening we had the privilege of picking up a family at the train station in Brasov, a woman named Lubava and her son Iliya from the Odessa region. They taught us many Ukrainian phrases on the ride back to PdF and in his broken English Iliya made sure we knew how much he hates the jellyfish in the Black Sea and how much he loves football (or soccer, as North Americans call it). They've left for Germany to stay with Iliya's sister there, but we've kept in contact and we plan to purchase a football (soccer ball) online and ship it to their address in Germany for him. He wasn't able to bring his football with him when they left Ukraine.

Chrissie has also started a supply-drive initiative with the girls' school in Brasov to collect supplies, hygiene items, toys, etc. to give to the refugee families who stay at PdF, to those who stay at a neighbouring camp run by Biserica Speranta (Hope Church) in Brasov, and eventually to take to the border. It's exciting that the teachers, parents and students will be collecting so many helpful items, everything from new socks and underwear, jackets, hats and gloves, diapers and wipes, toiletries, toys for children, etc. that we can distribute.

We've set up a table at PdF that's well stocked with baby items, toiletries, hygiene items, and snacks so our Ukrainian friends can take whatever they need while they're here or for their continued journey. 

We've learned that writing and communicating in the Ukrainian language is a BIG challenge...Chrissie is very thankful for her connection with Mariia, one of the refugees who was here last week with her son Teodor. Mariia has been helping Chrissie with translation from English to Ukrainian via text and voice message since she has moved on to stay with friends in Germany. 

After meeting with a fellow missionary friend this week (his family lives and works in this area too) we've learned that the hundreds of thousands of refugees we've seen enter Romania so far is just barely the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more who are trying to cross the border with a 3 or 4-day wait or more. Unfortunately the grim situation at the border is intensified by the bribery taking place (we've heard it's 3000 euros for a man between 18 and 60 to cross the border despite the martial law requiring them to stay) and the risk of human trafficking to the women and children crossing alone. As if the situation wasn't heartbreaking enough already. 

While the situation in Ukraine intensifies of course we have feelings of fear and uncertainty but we can't stop thinking about how blessed we are to be able to help in these small ways. Every connection we make with a Ukrainian person here is so precious - each one is deeply loved by God. He sees them and He cares for them - whether they've put their hope and faith in the Risen Christ or not. It's our prayer that somehow they see and experience Him through each one of us at PdF as we serve.

1 Corinthians 7:17 "Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him."

Jerry continues to work toward the Spring Mission Bible School that begins in 3 weeks and students are reaching out, excited for ways they can be involved to serve the Ukrainian refugees. It's impossible to plan anything concrete right now since the situation evolves every day, but we hope to take the group up closer to the border and assist however is needed. 

We want to say a BIG THANK YOU to those of you who have donated to cover the costs of hosting the Ukrainian refugees. Thank you for being a big part of what God is doing here. So far we've raised thousands of dollars and the donations just keep coming.

We know that the rest of the world is viewing the situation in and around Ukraine through the eyes of the media and social media. We absolutely don't want to downplay the devastation that's happening in any way - the situation is tragic and getting worse by the day - but we also don't want to sensationalize the work PdF is doing either.  For the PdF team, right now, assisting Ukrainian refugees looks like scrubbing toilets and floors, changing bedsheets, cooking hot meals, buying supplies, organizing, accounting, fundraising, communicating, making travel arrangements, and building relationships. It's not very glamorous, but we know that any work that helps provide a safe place for Ukrainian refugees and any work that shows love to them is the work of Christ, and we're grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. 

That said, as the situation unfolds the PdF leadership is looking for more ways the PdF team can help with the resources we have. PdF's Director Ebbe and Jerry plan to head up to the border in about a week to establish contacts with locals and churches there, and to find more ways PdF can help with the refugee crisis. They may even make their way into Ukraine to visit a church, depending on logistics and safety. We will keep you posted as the situation unfolds and PdF's involvement evolves. 

How can you help?

Please pray with us for the Ukrainian refugees in Romania, for their children, and for all the Ukrainian people who have been displaced by war and for those who remain in Ukraine - that God would provide for them, protect them, strengthen them, and that they would experience His goodness despite the destruction.

Please pray for us and for the PdF staff, that we'd act with wisdom and out of the love of Christ that is in us. That we'd have continued strength and energy to serve joyfully and that we won't become overwhelmed. That the refugees who come to PdF would experience the goodness of God as we serve them and love them.

Please pray for Ebbe and Jerry's trip to the Ukrainian border, for safety and provision, for good meetings, and that God would lead them to make the right connections He wants for PdF.

Please donate if you are able. We know there's no shortage of reputable organizations accepting donations for Ukraine at the moment, but if you would like to be a part of the work PdF is doing to support Ukrainian refugees in this corner of the world we'd be most grateful.

To cover PdF's costs for hosting Ukrainian refugees we've set up a special fund with Great Commission Foundation (our Canadian Mission Organization). Americans and Canadians can donate to this fund and the money will be sent directly to PdF's designated fund for Ukrainian Refugee support.

All funds raised will go directly to support war-affected Ukrainians here in Romania as refugees, at the border, and in Ukraine.

For CANADIANS: If you would like to donate to help cover the costs of PdF’s refugee support, please visit

**Please choose “Torchbearers Romania Ukraine Relief” as the designation.**

For AMERICANS: please visit to donate

**Please choose “Torchbearers Romania Ukraine Relief” as the designation.**

If you want to read about what PdF is doing in even more detail, feel free to check out PdF's 'Open Doors' Ukraine Blog here:

If you have any questions for us please reach out and contact us anytime. We'd love to hear from you!

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