March 26, 2022
To: Wolfville Baptist Church
Special attention to:
Rev. Dr. Scott Kindred-Barnes
Shon Whitney, Chair of the Board of Global Ministries
Board of Directors
Social and Benevolent Society
Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ!
Thank you the Baptist Church in Wolfville for praying and caring for refugees from Ukraine through the Baptist Church in Katowice, Poland. Your help is very important and necessary.
Last week, a significant financial aid from the Wolfville Baptist Church for refugees from Ukraine was transferred to our account in Katowice.
I would like to express my sincere words of gratitude to your Church and all donors for this blessed help for people fleeing the war.
You must know that we are doing a lot here to help refugees. For example, in our church, we collect large amounts of bandages, iodine, painkillers, tourniquets, and other medical supplies in cardboard boxes. Then we organize transport to the Polish-Ukrainian border. Later, the relevant Ukrainian services transferred this aid to their army.
Meanwhile, over 2 million refugees came to Poland within three weeks. There are over 100,000 of them in Katowice. We help those who come to us through the Baptist families that are in our church. We need to help them find their place in the "new world", prepare temporary accommodation in houses and flats, organize financial support for the poorest, help them organize their legal stay in Poland, and provide them with the means to survive. Mainly women with children come to Poland. The men stayed in Ukraine to fight the aggressor. My role as a pastor is to connect various organizations, churches and people involved in this help.
As you know, Russian troops are bombing Ukrainian cities on the border with Poland. Thousands of people are dying. Aggression is approaching my country. I am asking you to pray for Ukraine, Poland and also the Baltic states threatened by military aggression.
May Christ reward the Wolfville Baptist Church for being close to us in this mighty challenge.
Rev. Dr. Jerzy Rogaczewski
Photos in order:
Children supplies; Clothing supplies; Medicine for the refugees;
Room for the Refugees, Supplying refugees; Pastor and Polish Soldiers - help for Ukrainian refugees
April 5, 2022
To: Rev. Scott Kindred-Barnes
Wolfville Baptist Church, Canada
Fr: Rev. Dr. Jerzy Rogaczewski
Dear Friends in Christ!
Grace to you and peace in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! On behalf of the refugees from Ukraine, whom we have intensively assisted since the moment of recognizing the aggression against Ukraine, I would like to express my deep words of gratitude for your prayers and financial assistance.
Your help is very important and necessary.
Poles have opened their hearts and homes to refugees, but this is not enough. The needs are huge. Below I describe what we are doing to help those fleeing the war in the last few days.
Our great desire to help refugees stems from great emotions and compassion. We are very close to the border where cities are bombed, people are killed, women are raped in front of their children. What happened in the Ukrainian city of Bucza has no explanation. Hundreds of civilians have been murdered. The children turned gray when they saw the beastly behavior of the aggressors towards their mothers, when their fathers had their hands tied and shot in the back of the head. When we see images of bombed cities, killed children, and a shelled humanitarian corridor in the media and hear from eyewitnesses images of bombed cities, we mobilize ourselves every day to work for those who survived and escaped. These are very strong emotions. They have not fallen down yet, new images and new stories are reaching us, more people are coming.
Moreover, the Ukrainians are culturally close to us. For many years, several hundred thousand immigrants have lived among us, we meet these people every day as drivers, nannies, and friends from the office. They have grown into our everyday life. They have entered our Baptist churches. It is mainly because of them that we have close contact with refugees who come to Katowice every day. There are many Baptists among them.
The situation surprised everyone. Not only Poles as a society, but also city authorities, churches and private persons.2.4 million people have already fled to Poland. About 1.8 million refugees remained in Poland. Some of them went to Western countries.
The Baptist Church in Katowice has helped many families over the course of several weeks. They are mainly women with children.We learn to help. We are imperfect at this, but we try very hard.
We organize humanitarian aid. We buy and collect among the members of our churches, incl. medicines, painkillers, bandages, iodine, wound dressings, sleeping bags, mats, tents, blankets, etc. We transport these things to the border with Ukraine, where they are taken over by Ukrainian services, we take them to hospitals, to the army (this war is very bloody ), to private people who live in basements, subways, dugouts, etc.
Members of our congregations travel to the border with Ukraine and offer hospitality to refugees from Ukraine, they do it more and more responsibly. Many people decide to accept someone only for a few days, where Poland is only a stop, because the refugees go on, and now they need to wash, change into clean and dry clothes, rest at home, not at the train station. This is what our Church does with dedication. The needs are defined on an ongoing basis. We try to satisfy them immediately.
In the attachment I am sending only a few photos of people, including children, whom we help. There are many of them. The Baptist Church in Katowice has helped over 2,000 people within a few weeks. They are mainly women with children. We learn to help. We are imperfect at this, but we try very hard.
I am sending a few photos attached. Below are descriptions of these photos, each refugee has a unique and painful story.
1) Ukrainian boy lost his parents in the war
A few-year-old Ukrainian boy Borysko lost his parents during the war in Kharkiv. He miraculously survived the bombing. Another Ukrainian family who miraculously escaped from the Russian fire took him to Poland. They fled the war for a week, by bus and train. They moved through the so-called corridors of life, territories where the aggressor did not gain a military advantage. Borysko is in Katowice. We help him financially, we are looking for a foster family for him. I am asking for prayers for Borisko.
2) Two Ukrainian moms with children fleeing the war.
Two Ukrainian mothers, Galyna and Olena from Kijev, with their children, who were fleeing the war. Galyna's husband was killed by a bomb, Olena's husband stayed in Ukraine to fight in the Ukrainian army. Through Ukrainian Baptist congregations, we try to help her in contact with her husband and obtain some information about him. Soldiers on the front lines do not have this option. Women don't know anyone in Poland and Europe. They don't know what to do next. They will probably stay in Katowice. We help them with accommodation, they sleep in the house of one of my friends. We help them financially, by buying food, and we try to place their children in a Polish school. First, a school is organized for them, where they learn Polish. May God help these two mothers begin a "new life" in the new world.
3) Nikolaj, a refugee from Mariupol
Nikolai is a refugee from Mariupol, a city that was razed to the ground in 90 percent. He is Russian. His wife and children were killed in a bombarded car. He doesn't know anything about the rest of his family. Maybe his family was forcibly taken to Russia, or died under the rubble. He lost everything he had, his house, car and belongings. When the aggressors entered Mariupol, there were attempts to get him into the war against Ukraine, as was done with other Russians living in the eastern / southern part of Ukraine. Nikolai did not let the Russians recruit him, he fled to Poland. He traveled in very harsh conditions for a week of time. He does not know Polish, we organize comprehensive financial and medical assistance and a place of residence for him. She will learn Polish, we pray for his psyche. Nikolai is heartbroken, he doesn't want to hear about God. The war separated Nikolai from God. We are facing a great challenge of love and concern for this poor man. There are hundreds of thousands of such people in Poland.
Summing up our short prayer letter, we thank God for each Church, for each family and for each individual person whose hearts are touched to help people fleeing the war.
May Christ reward you all!
Rev. Dr. Jerzy Rogaczewski
April 4, 2022