NASHVILLE, Tenn. April 6, 2022 / The Upper Room / Leaders from The Upper Room will travel to eastern Europe to support ministry partners working with Ukrainian refugees.
Rev. Kimberly Orr, The Upper Room Publisher, and Peter Velander, the Executive Director of International Engagement, will travel to Estonia, Poland, and Hungary where they will collaborate with The Upper Room’s publishing partners and missionary contacts to distribute encouraging, spiritual resources to people fleeing the war in Ukraine. “The crisis created by the Ukraine war makes the need self-evident. Spiritual support during such a time is critical as we become partners with those meeting physical needs of food and medicine,” Velander says.
Local publishing teams will translate into Ukrainian Prayers for Hope and Finding Our Way, two Upper Room resources. These resources will be printed for distribution to Ukrainians who have fled their country or who are still living in Ukraine. PDFs will be posted to a dedicated website (TURPeace.org) to provide further distribution. Extra copies of the Polish and Hungarian editions of The Upper Room daily devotional will be printed, as well as posted online, providing spiritual support to Polish and Hungarian volunteers helping the refugees.
Orr and Velander also plan to connect with the Russian publishing coordinator to provide more copies of the Russian edition of the daily devotional to people in Russia. “Our colleagues in Russia are deeply troubled by what is happening in Ukraine. At a moment like this, we are called to distinguish between the actions of a government and the hearts of individuals within a country,” Velander says. “Furthermore, we have tech developers in Ukraine who had to flee their homes, yet they continue to do their work. Our publishing partners from both countries are doing wonderful work at increasing risk to themselves. . . . Our Russian colleagues and Ukrainian developers give witness to a vision of shalom in a broken world.”
The two Upper Room leaders will also visit local missionary friends and assist their hands-on work with refugees, in particular women and children. “So many mothers and children need intentional, caring support at this time. They are grieving the loss of their homes and are deeply concerned about their husbands, fathers, brothers, and friends who have been called up to fight in Ukraine,” Orr says.
Donations to The Upper Room’s Crisis Impact Fund are enabling this translation and distribution work in eastern Europe. The Upper Room’s Crisis Impact Fund is designed to meet the spiritual needs of people in crisis by responding swiftly and with relevance to natural disasters, global and health crises, and other urgent social needs.
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The Upper Room is a global ministry dedicated to supporting the spiritual formation of Christians seeking to know and experience God more fully. From its beginnings as a daily devotional guide, The Upper Room has grown to include publications, programs, prayer support, and other resources to help believers of all ages and denominations move to a deeper level of faith and service. The Upper Room is a part of Discipleship Ministries. Visit UpperRoom.org to learn more.
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Photo illustrations by Cindy Caldwell, United Methodist Communications. Photography by Eugene, Unsplash.com