Offering practical help to the Ukrainians. We need to DO something.

Offering practical help to the Ukrainians. We need to DO something. March 9, 2022

I received a disturbing email this morning. A well known Christian ministry, which I shall not name, had decided that now was the right time to launch an appeal to help the Ukraine. What’s wrong with that, you might ask?  Well this ministry’s campaign was to raise enough money to create a brand new website with their own translated material to bless the Ukrainians with the gospel. I understand the sentiment, but as the Bible says “there is a time for everything“.

Whilst I do understand and agree that the ultimate need for all of us, including the Ukrainians is to hear the good news of Jesus, when families are being destroyed by bombs, and the largest refugee crisis in decades is emerging before our very eyes, surely practical help would be our first instinct? I was reminded of the following verse:

If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17,ESV)

So many of us have felt empathy for the suffering of the Ukrainians. And yet God calls us to go beyond mere empathy, to the more biblical concept of compassion, which drives us to do something. As I said previously,

Compassion is defined in the Miriam Webster Dictionary as ‘sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.’Compassion is when love moves beyond mere emotion and motivates us to action.

And then all of a sudden I moved from my own sense of righteous indignation, taking perhaps excessive offence at this Christian ministry asking for money to offer gospel resources to the suffering, to a sense of personal conviction. How easy is it for me to say “the church” should do something, or even a particular ministry should have reacted in a different way. What have I done? The answer is of course nothing so far. A friend of mine, Krish Kandiahhas taken a lead on this subject here in the UK. Here is his video plea:

Today, inspired by his plea, I have done three practical things to try and indicate my willingness to help.

  1. I have pledged my willingness to provide some form of support for Ukrainian refugees my government eventually allows into the country (I live in the UK where we have been so far shameful in our reluctance to admit those fleeing from this war.
  2. I have made a gift to the Sanctuary Foundation, an organisation run by my friend who I trust to use these resources wisely to bless the Ukrainian people.
  3. I have signed this petition to urge my government to let more refugees from this war into our country.

What you can do in your country may be different, but lets do something, however small, today.

Oh, and of course sharing the gospel IS also important, I just feel like meeting people’s practical needs first is the appropriate approach.


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