Ukraine Crisis Fund Update—Working Together
by David Nakhla, Administrator for the Committee on Diaconal Ministries
The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries rejoices in the generous and rapid response to the Ukraine Crisis Fund, now at $288,000, giving evidence of the concern for OPC missionaries in Ukraine and all those to whom and with whom they minister. As you may know, OPC missionaries, Heero and Anya Hacquebord, serve as part of a Mission To the World (the PCA’s foreign missions committee) team in Ukraine. The MTW team has had a long presence in Ukraine, dating back to the fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 90’s. The Hacquebords continue to be well and find great comfort in the prayers of God’s people.
Immediately following Russia’s recent invasion into Ukraine, the MTW team in Ukraine launched a plan to minister both to those staying in Ukraine and to those fleeing as refugees. MTW opened a fund with the goal of raising $2 million. After one week, that fund had grown to more than $1 million! Seeing both the rate of funds coming in and the growing needs due to the conflict, the team raised the fund’s goal to $4 million. That fund is now at almost $3 million. The Refugee Ministry Subcommittee of the OPC CDM met recently and determined to contribute $70,000 from the Ukraine Crisis Fund to support the MTW team’s efforts.
Another like-minded reformed denomination serving in and near this affected region is the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Central & Eastern Europe (RPCCEE). They are a small denomination of about 20 churches laboring in Hungary, Southwest Ukraine, and Romania. OPC representatives have visited the RPCCEE several times over the years and the RPCCEE has sent representatives to several OPC general assemblies. There is a real spirit of fellowship and like-mindedness between our denominations. The RPCCEE is actively ministering both to families fleeing from Ukraine into Hungary and families remaining in Ukraine. Last week, a representative group from the OPC met with two RPCCEE pastors via Zoom and they welcomed our participation in their labors. We are in the process of working out what that might look like. Please pray for the development of this collaboration.
World Witness, the foreign missions committee of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church (ARP), has missionaries in Poland, Lithuania, Germany, and Spain. These missionaries are all actively collaborating to transport and care for Ukrainian refugees. With them, we are considering ways to come alongside them in their labors.
There are also a number of other smaller sister churches and/or organizations working in and around Ukraine, with whom the OPC has connections. We are in active communication with these churches and organizations, as well, to see how we can come alongside and augment the work they are doing.
Finally, it is becoming apparent that this sad situation will most likely not end soon; or at least the recovering from it. As such, it will be helpful to have some funds available to be used further down the road, when all the big aid organizations have moved on and the news agencies have forgotten all about Ukraine and the needs of the Ukrainian diaspora. The CDM hopes that some of the gifts to the OPC fund will be available to meet those needs as well.
The CDM welcomes your prayers for wisdom. We would like to send a small delegation to the region soon, to meet and assess firsthand and to bring encouragement and a ministry of presence. We welcome prayers for wisdom in timing and logistics in this as well.
Thank you for showing the love of Christ in this important effort, both financially and by your faithful prayers. Updates on the Ukraine Crisis Fund can be found on the OPC Disaster Response website: OPCDisasterResponse.org.