Work with Ukrainian refugees continues to dominate the agenda of many Methodists in countries directly or indirectly bordering Ukraine. The processes and structures that have been created are being refined. But the ongoing strain is also sapping strength.
Three of the Methodist institutions in Czechia, where a large number of refugees from Ukraine are housed, have therefore hired housekeepers, initially for a limited period of three months. In addition, some students and other young people are helping out there.
There is also a similar development in Romania, as Rares Calugar, superintendent of the UMC in Romania, reports: In order to be able to continue to bring humanitarian aid to Ukraine week after week, a Ukrainian professional driver who lives in Romania has been hired, he says. Since he is over 60 years old, he will be able to leave Ukraine after delivering the consignments.
Humanitarian aid deliveries to Ukraine are organized by UMC leaders from various countries, such as Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, and Romania. They are often carried out by minibuses or minivans. After a first large delivery of medicines for a hospital in Ukraine, the UMC in Romania is planning another large delivery there. The leaders of the hospital had urgently requested to receive further medicines and medical equipment.
At the same time, the coordinators of the Methodist relief work also report that many refugees are returning to Ukraine. According to Jana Krizova from Czechia, this includes those who had originally planned to stay longer in Czechia. It is not only concern for their own houses, apartments and gardens that is behind this decision, she said. "We can do more there for the people who have left their homes in the east of the country," say some of those willing to return. In some cases, local United Methodist congregations have provided financial support to these returning refugees - in part to encourage work with the internally displaced, many of whom now live in the western part of the country.
"When we take care of a family, a mother and a child, it seems like a drop in the ocean of what needs to be done," Jana Krizova writes in a brief meditation. "We feel helpless in the face of the immense suffering of so many people. However, every drop matters. One person matters." To God, she said, every single life is precious. That is why it makes sense to care for every human being.
Source: Sigmar Friedrich, Zurich / Urs Schweizer, Assistant to the Bishop, Zurich