Standing outside the train station right at the border of Poland and Ukraine, our leadership team decided to gather for prayer.
As we united to pray, I heard a panic scream, so loud, that it emanated through the stream of Ukrainian refugees rushing past us. Quickly slipping through the stampede, I discovered a woman crying out in desperation—an anguish I have rarely witnessed in my travels to disaster areas and slums around the globe.
Fearing our interpreter’s response, I asked him, “What is she saying?”
His choked up reply should break even the calloused of hearts, “She is saying, ‘Where’s my child? Where’s my daughter?’” He explained, “While there is so much good happening here, there is also much darkness that this war has unleashed. Human traffickers are everywhere on the Ukrainian borders stealing young women.” For young women, this train station has become a haunted house. Just this week, we learned the police arrested 50 suspected traffickers.
I witnessed the Polish police respond to the screaming mother’s pleas for help, however, their body language was loud and clear—any attempt to find her daughter would be futile.
As I write this, my keypad is splattered with teardrops…I clearly remember the terror on that mother’s face. The only way to describe my emotions in that moment is a caldron of anger and a sense of helplessness.
Prior to writing this story, I questioned whether I should share what I witnessed, and wondered, “What good will it do if it will only make people sad and fearful of experiencing the same fate as this mother?”
Yet, this story underscores, in the most graphic way, the importance of supporting local churches along the Ukrainian border.
It is imperative to realize that at this moment when most Ukrainians are fleeing for their lives, the local church may be their only safe place from the predictors of war, and evil predators. One young woman shared with us that evildoers are using social media to lure Ukrainians into their homes in order to “murder us and sell our body parts”. No one should have this kind of fear while fleeing for their lives, with the hope to survive.
We invite you to join CityServe International, www.cityserve.us, and help resource these local churches in Ukraine, Poland, and Romania to expand their capacity, rescue, and care for Ukrainian refugees by providing them with the funds and much-needed supplies to keep refugees safe. Together, as Americans, we can empower local churches in Europe to respond to this crisis and, most importantly, to preach the Good News to the stranger, poor, afflicted, and lost.
To help empower local churches in Europe, please consider giving by visiting www.cityserve.us/ukrainian-crisis/.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33