United Methodist ministry with Ukraine

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In late May, a team from United Methodist News, the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries visited church refugee ministries in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and western Ukraine to share stories of the United Methodist presence in the wake of such tragedy and ongoing need.

UM News would like to thank a group of translators without whom reports from this trip would not be possible.

Czech Republic: Jana Fojtíková, Eduard Holtman, the Rev. Jana Křížova
Hungary: The Rev. László Khaled
Romania: Alexandra Aishpur, Olena Koval
Ukraine: Istvan Pasztor, the Rev. Yulia Starodubets

Read stories and see images from their trip.

The Revs. László Khaled (left) and Üllas Tankler (second from left) pray with the family of Robert, Renatta and their children in the small cabin they share at the United Methodist Dorcas church camp in Debrecen, Hungary, where they are staying after fleeing the war in Ukraine. The family is among many Roma who have found a place of welcome at the camp. Khaled is superintendent of The United Methodist Church in Hungary and Tankler is the European/Eurasian representative of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Hungarian camp houses Ukrainian Roma refugees

At the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, about 800,000 refugees crossed through Hungary. The United Methodist Church in Hungary has helped to house hundreds of them, including at a summer camp.
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Women and children who fled their homes in Ukraine to escape the war with Russia are being hosted at the Poušť United Methodist church camp near Bechyně, Czech Republic. Some 19 guests from Ukraine are living there. At center is Alžběta Opočenská, a staff member at the camp. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Czech United Methodists help house Ukrainian refugees

The Poušť United Methodist church camp would normally have hosted children at camp this summer, but instead, it is serving as a home away from home for Ukrainian mothers and their children.
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The Rev. Lev Shults brings a greeting to a combined worship service of Czech- and Russian-speaking congregations at Prague 2 United Methodist Church in Prague, Czech Republic. Shults leads Agapé United Methodist Church, the Russian-speaking congregation. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.  

Russian-speaking congregation supports Ukrainian refugees

While Russians and Ukrainians engage in war in various parts of Ukraine, a Russian-speaking United Methodist congregation in Prague is finding ways to support Ukrainian refugees.
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The Rev. Yulia Starodubets (right) comforts Oksana, who told of fleeing her home in Kharkiv, Ukraine, after the Russian military destroyed her apartment building. She is among some 40 people displaced by the war who are staying in a former Soviet printing plant turned shelter in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Ukrainian United Methodists care for fellow countrymen

United Methodists in western Ukraine are opening their churches and homes to house evacuees from the war with Russia.
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United Methodist Bishop Christian Alsted (center) visited a Roma congregation in the village of Serednje, Ukraine, for worship and Communion. Mattresses of the refugees staying in the Kamyanitsa church were stacked in another room prior to the service. The Rev. Oleg Stardubets, district superintendent of the United Methodist Church in Ukraine, stands to the bishop’s right in checked shirt. His wife, the Rev. Yulia Starodubets, who serves a United Methodist church in Kyiv, stands behind him. Photo courtesy of Bishop Alsted. 

Commentary: A country at war

The newly assigned bishop of the Ukraine and Moldova Provisional Annual Conference traveled to the war-torn country to visit with local church leaders.
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United Methodist Bishop Christian Alsted prays with Alexandre, who is living in the gymnasium at the Onokivtsi Secondary School near Uzhhorod, Ukraine, after fleeing his home due to the war with Russia. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Photo essay: United Methodists stand with Ukraine

United Methodists in Eastern Europe have been welcoming Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of their country. UM News staff photographer Mike DuBose shares images from his trip to Eastern Europe covering the church's humanitarian ministry.
VIEW PHOTOS
Maj. Gerardo Ortiz (left), leader of the Salvation Army in Tijuana, Mexico, and Bishop Felipe Ruiz, episcopal leader of the Northwest Annual Conference of the Methodist Church of Mexico A.R., have been working collaboratively to serve immigrant communities on the border, and they are now serving refugees from Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Bishop Felipe Ruiz, Methodist Church of Mexico A.R. 

Methodists help Ukrainian refugees in Tijuana

The Methodist Church of Mexico A.R., together with other churches, civil organizations and the support of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, is providing food and other aid to refugee applicants from Ukraine.
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A woman reacts in a residential district damaged by shelling, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, March 18, 2022. United Methodists with close ties to Ukraine have reacted with special feeling to the invasion, but also have found creative ways to help with relief efforts. Photo by Vladyslav Musiienko, REUTERS © 2022. 

Blessed be their Ukrainian ties

Since the Russian invasion began, United Methodists with close connections to Ukraine have been sweating out friends and family members, while also finding creative ways to help.
READ STORY
To support Ukrainian refugee relief, please give to UMCOR’s International Disaster Response and Recovery fund, Advance #982450.
Ukrainian children displaced by the war with Russia play in a former office turned playroom at the former newspaper and book publishing plant where they are living in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 
Ukrainian children displaced by the war with Russia play in a former office turned playroom at the former newspaper and book publishing plant where they are living in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

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