As medical volunteers from Global Care Force visited churches and villages across Ukraine over the fall and winter of 2022, they prayed that God would help them find at least one person in each location that would be the right fit for an inaugural trauma-care training.
“We had no clue what was going on and what we will do.”
With that simple statement, Tolik Galagan sums up the deep feelings of Ukrainians who were stunned when war broke out in their nation. It was February 24, 2022, and in Vapniarka, where Galagan leads the local Church of the Nazarene, confusion soon turned to fear and grief.
“The church was very panicked,” said Galagan. “Everybody was sad that tragedy came to our country.”
In Przemyśl, Poland, the global Church of the Nazarene has been responding since the onset of war in Ukraine.
When the war broke out, the first Nazarene responder at the Polish-Ukrainian border was a Syrian pastor, seeking ways to serve. Soon after, a team formed, putting out the call for volunteers to come and physically provide resources to the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their homes.
Teanna Sunberg, a missionary with the Church of the Nazarene who serves, along with her husband Jay, as the Field Strategy Coordinator team in Central Europe, has been leading the Nazarene response to Ukrainian refugees at the Polish-Ukrainian border since the war in Ukraine started last February.
Tuesday, October 11. Przemyśl, Poland.
I’ve heard the following reports from our neighbors in Ukraine—
Though the biblical narrative often depicts the community of God as a people on the move, believers living within the reality of displacement face challenges as worshipers when forced to leave their homes and communities. For the District Superintendent of Ukraine, Volodymyr Masyuk, and his partner in life and ministry, Sylvia Cortez Masyuk, displacement in the midst of war presents obstacles for gathering with the community of faith and brings them to contemplate the hope of Christian worship: Resurrection.
As conflict continues in Ukraine, Nazarenes around the world are sending financial support to fund holistic care for Ukrainians.
Sergey and Irina Talalay, who first entered Moldova in 2008 as pioneer church planters, are leading the Moldovan church in self-sacrificial support for Ukrainians who have been flooding across the border since February 24.
When conflict erupted in Ukraine, the most vulnerable were forced to consider fleeing for safety. Many of the three million who have sought shelter outside of the country so far are mothers with children. Some of those mothers had plans for where to go—family they could visit or friends with space to share—but others are relying on the kindness of strangers across borders. In fleeing war, these millions have become refugees.