In our March 18 newsletter, we announced an opportunity to join our DNA friend, Ana Santos, in responding to the needs of refugees at the Ukraine border. Special thanks to those of you who have already partnered with Ana through a financial gift. If you would like to contribute, you can go to DNA’s Donate page and choose “Protect Ukrainian Refugees” from the Project Designation drop-down menu.
Ana has recently provided several updates. The stories she shares emphasize the importance of her ministry: The distance to the border of Slovakia is a long route and requires crossing the mountains. A woman and her young son arrive at the border in the middle of the night, cold, shaking, and hungry. A tall Belarusian man meets them and offers to drive them somewhere safe. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. Three hours later the man brought them to the YWAM (Youth with a Mission) center near the Ukraine-Slovakia border. The refugee remembers the staff speaking to her “with gentleness and beauty.” She said, “I felt peace, but I was still shaking.”
Ana had the chance to visit this YWAM center on her way to Poland last week. Over the past year, the large center had been low on staff and was preparing to close. However, the crisis in Ukraine brought numerous local churches together to help with supplies and bring wood to help with heating in the bitter cold. Pray for more volunteers at the center who will listen to the women, play with the children, and talk with the men. The center is doing OK with many of the needed material things, but there is a need for financial support to pay the cost of heating (thousands of euros) to keep the facility warm. Thankfully, the weather improved some while Ana visited.
Ana has been encouraged to see the resilience of some refugees, even those traveling with multiple children,wanting to stay near the border and hoping to return to their homes. The refugees are helping and doing the cooking at the center. Ana says her heart has been both “heavy and filled with joy.”
As we pray for peace, please also join us in praying for God’s protection, wisdom, and insight for Ana. Over this past week, Ana and her ministry colleague have been able to use a van to deliver essential supplies to important locations in Ukraine and have been able to help many women and children during their time. We give thanks for the way God has already helped Ana form many strategic and providential connections to make a difference. She is headed back into Poland this week to meet with more key leaders and help with the critical organization and distribution of anti-trafficking materials. More updates will be forthcoming.