How Innovista is Responding in Ukraine
Prayer resources, supporting churches and Innovista staff
With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the international Innovista family is working together to support our colleagues in Ukraine and the people and churches they serve.
Innovista has worked in Ukraine since 2003 and we have a staff team of four, led by National Director Anatoliy Sapsay. Anatoliy and his family, like many others are hosting families who need refuge in their home.
Innovista International is sending grants to help churches in Ukraine and Moldova care for and provide refuge for those fleeing the conflict. We’ve been able to send grants to places across Ukraine including Kharkiv, Sumy and Kyiv. Churches have turned their buildings into emergency accomodation and stores (for supplies that are being sent east into the conflict zone). Our staff in Moldova are helping churches work together in similar ways as they too care for Ukrainians crossing the border, and are piloting a new resource on trauma care.
Find the latest updates from Innovista’s partner churches in Ukraine and resources on how to pray on the Innovista International website.
In Kyiv, church leaders have bought food and medicine for the vulnerable, and mattresses for those sleeping in shelters. One church leader, whose church is sheltering many local people in the basement, told us, “Thank God we have been able to go and collect some food for all of us. As soon as the shops are opened we are trying to search for something and collect. Nobody knows how long this war will take so all stocks of water and food we getting into our place. We help to buy medicine for some elderly people. Right now the pharmacies don’t have variety of needed medicine and have long lines. So one of our ministries is staying in a long line to help supply whose who need medicine. God is good to all of us at the basement.”
Bucha, a railway town just north of Kyiv, has been the scene of intense fighting and horrific stories. A grant to the church there meant they could support the 130 people living in the church basement.
In L’viv, which quickly became a hub for internally displaced people, churches have been converted into transit centres, with meeting spaces turning in dormitories. A network of Baptist churches are providing 700 beds a night in their churches for people making their way to the Polish border, and hundreds more are being accommodated in their own homes. Innovista grants have contributed to this amazing work, buying food and bedding.
In Kharkiv, food and fuel are being distributed to those who have remained in the city. With Innovista’s support a convoy of vehicles is making the 16-hour drive from L’viv to Kharkiv every few nights, transporting essential supplies into the city.
In Sumy, a local pastor has delivered food and medicine to vulnerable people who can’t be evacuated and are stuck in their homes, as well as helping international students who were stranded in the city when Russia invaded.
In Chisinau, Moldova, essential supplies have been bought with a grant made to churches receiving and caring for refugees. Moldova is Europe’s poorest nation and has received more refugees, per capita, than any other nation.
A prayer for peace in Ukraine, from Ireland
Jesus, Prince of Peace
Bringer of Peace to our broken world,
You call us to participate in the family business of peacemaking,
So we come to pray for peace in Ukraine.
We pray against those who want to bring fear, violence and destruction, restrain them Almighty God.
For troops on both sides we pray for restraint.
For those negotiating, give them courage and humility to put the lives of the vulnerable and innocent at the centre.
For those who are living in fear, who are contemplating fleeing their homes or who already have, protect them, be their shelter, bring your peace to their hearts.
For churches, for our brothers and sisters who are currently stocking up on food, water and medicines, turning their buildings into hostels or hospitals, supply them with all the resources they need as they bring your practical and hopeful presence.
For families in Ukraine who are taking in refugees fill their homes with love and patience and healing.
For the people of Russia who don’t support the path of their government, protect them from harm as they speak and live courageously.
Prince of Peace, bring peace in Ukraine we pray, show us how we can love and make peace from where we are.