Refugee Ministry Response in Moldova

Positioned between Ukraine and Romania, the tiny country of Moldova is being overwhelmed with more than 200,000 refugees. As the poorest country in Europe, they have so little to give but they are giving what they can to care for the refugees who have fled from the war raging in their homeland. As they share a common language with Ukraine, Moldovans are uniquely equipped to not only fulfill the physical needs but also to communicate with ease.

Moldovan Christian workers are able to share the love of God and the hope that comes with it. Stories of those serving and those being served gathering together to worship and study the Word of God together bring glimpses of redemption in a tragic situation. The people of Moldova are so very financially poor but they are giving what they have by opening their homes, giving a glass of cold water, offering a helping hand, and telling about the everlasting hope and healing that comes with knowing the love of God.

Dwight Poggemiller, a GEM worker from Romania, explains that of the over 3 million people who have evacuated, the first wave was made of the people that had the contacts and the money to get out. They spent one night at the border and moved on to Germany, the UK or elsewhere. This second wave of people coming out have been experiencing more trauma. They are shellshocked. They have seen things that they can never erase from their minds.

Dwight tells the story of a little girl, her pregnant aunt, her grandmother and her great-grandmother sheltered in their basement for 2 weeks until they could escape and flee across the border. When asking the great-grandmother with her family, what the situation of her city was, she tearfully responded, “They’re trying to wipe it from the face of the earth.”

GEM is currently working alongside and supporting 23 partner projects positioned to aid the refugees. As new partnerships emerge and existing partnerships deepen, everyone is banding together to care for those who have lost their homes and fear losing their country. Caring for them and ministering to them happens seamlessly and the opportunities are everywhere.

One worker, who shuttles people from the borders to crisis centers, told of a Muslim refugee speaking on the phone to family saying, “These Christians are not like we heard. They are serving us and helping us.”

Dwight speaks of these moments and of the beauty of serving together as “sweet fellowship in the midst of serving.” Serving as a community and leaning into God is what sustains workers during these times.

In this time, it is important to evaluate our roles. To discern how God might be calling us to respond.

What can we do? Are we called to join the workers caring for refugees? Are we called to send clothes or make a donation? Are we called to join together in prayer?

Our Heavenly Father, we give this situation to you fully. We pray that you give us a right reaction to this crisis. Help us to be obedient. Oh Powerful Protector, we pray for those caught in the battles. We pray for those who have lost their homes. We pray for all in danger and who have lost loved ones. We pray for the leadership of the world. Everlasting Comforter, we pray for the workers who are serving – that you give them the mental and emotional health, the physical strength, and the wisdom to continue on through this marathon. To You, the One who is in control of all, we pray that what man has meant for evil, You turn it around for good. We pray for peace.

To learn more about GEM’s response to the crisis and how you can help, visit gemission.org/ukraine

About the author:

Katey Leavelle is a storyteller with Greater Europe Mission serving across Europe. Visit thegroundedwanderer.net to learn more.