Mission & Values
Many of us are concerned about the people caught in the middle of Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine. In our day and age, civilians seem to pay the highest costs of warfare. Many of you have asked how to help in what seems like a helpless situation.
At the Session meeting of March 15, 2022, the CPC Session approved two ways you might contribute financial assistance if you wish to do so through the church.
First, you can donate to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mission Disaster Relief Program. This program has an astonishing track record of getting funds to other well-accredited agencies on the ground who support local needs in times of crisis. You can send a donation directly by going to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website https://pda.pcusa.org/ukraine/ (in comments type: Ukraine), or you can click HERE donate through Christ Presbyterian Church. Of course, you can always mail your donation to the church office. Mark your donation “Ukraine Disaster Assist.”
The other way to provide financial assistance requires a leap of faith! Church members Ray and Pamm Ohlinger have been teaching in the Kyiv International School in Kyiv for several years. They have had to evacuate to Poland but are still in contact with friends and students in Kyiv and Ukraine. Their letter to Steve and Byrdie Stocker (edited for space) is shown below, and it speaks to how funds forwarded to them would be used. If you wish to contribute in this way, please click HERE to donate online or the church office ASAP. Please mark these funds as designated to “Ohlinger Ukraine.”
Please continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and the many other countries worldwide that remain engulfed in warfare and violence. May the peace of Christ reign across all creation.
We truly appreciate the church’s willingness to respond to the deep need of those suffering in Ukraine. We are still utterly shocked that this is the situation in which we find ourselves. For so long, our friends and colleagues were convinced that nothing would come of the tension, yet now the country finds itself in a desperate and devastating situation. Personally, we are safe and cared for in Albania. Our school (Kyiv International School) has a sister school here in Tirana. Although physically safe, our hearts are utterly broken as we assist friends on a daily basis and try to make connections to help them get out of the city, an endeavor that is now growing too dangerous for some to attempt. The school folks with whom we are in touch are well connected and, at minimum, have the help of an international school community and its resources. However, so many others had so little to begin with that we can’t imagine what resources they have now to aid their evacuation.
With all that said, you asked that we share some ways that the church might be able to help in the rescue and support efforts in a way that is most time-efficient…we wanted to let the church know what we have been doing with our giving as we feel it gets needed funds immediately to those in desperate situations. In short, we have been sending funds through bank transfer directly to our friend Ira…Her husband, Johnny, is a teacher at our school. Johnny is from Canada, and his father was a missionary to Ukraine years ago. Ira is Ukrainian and has a deep love of Jesus. She is a mountain mover! Ira and Johnny evacuated to Poland (just over the border), however, Ira’s family (brother) live in Lviv, a beautiful city in western Ukraine near the Polish border. Basically, Ira is receiving donations and then disperses funds to her brother in Lviv, who then works with other teachers from our school to buy crucially needed medical supplies for refugees and military personnel. To be completely honest, we’re not sure of everything Ira is doing with the money as we think she has her hands in a variety of grassroots rescue efforts, as they come to her attention through trusted sources. When we asked her yesterday what is a need that we could give to, she told us about her friend Andrey. He is working tirelessly in eastern Ukraine to rescue citizens of all kinds (elderly, orphans, etc…). Andrey is a long-time family friend of hers, and she is working to get him money to purchase a reliable minivan so that they have more space to get more people during each trip as well as deliver a greater amount of food supplies. A rough estimate for such a van would be around $10,000. Ira is not an NGO, she has no budget or board of directors. She is simply a woman who is desperate to help as many as she can as quickly as she can. We trust her and trust her judgment and use of our money 100%. God certainly has created her for such a time as this, and we are overjoyed to join with her. We’re not sure how to give our stamp of trust more strongly…
Thank you so much for considering fast-tracking your support to those who are working against the clock to rescue people from what could be the complete devastation of cities in Ukraine. It just breaks our hearts to think that in just a short time, the beautiful city of Kyiv could be destroyed. We pray that we are wrong.
In His Grace,
Ray and Pamm