As the war continues in Ukraine, JMI’s effort to provide aid and support to refugees remains a focus for the organization. Chris Hardy, Director of Programs and Church Partnerships, and Rachel Trammell, Sponsorship and Programs Manager, recently returned to the U.S. from Moldova. For two weeks, Chris and Rachel worked with Moldovan JMI staff to assess the refugee situation and the aid JMI is able to provide.
Through strategic partnerships with other organizations like Samaritan’s Purse and the Baptist Union of Moldova, JMI is continuing to serve refugees pouring into Moldova from Ukraine. With Samaritan’s Purse, JMI is serving as an implementation partner as well as providing staff and volunteers. Samaritan’s Purse is providing aid items, like hygiene kits, that we are able to distribute to villages, churches, and shelters. Additionally, we are providing volunteers and staff to translate for them.
For the Baptist Union camp, JMI is mostly providing for needs that their shelter has. These needs range from cleaning supplies to food. The Baptist Union has a large camp that can accommodate 270 refugees at once, where they serve 3 hot meals a day. Since the conflict in Ukraine began, these camps have housed thousands of Ukrainian refugees. JMI is helping resource this camp with what they need to serve this many people day in and day out.
Additionally, JMI transitioned two employees in Moldova to Crisis Response roles and hired two more positions. Our staff is tired, but continues to work around the clock to respond to the needs around them. The work is not ceasing for JMI. As the fighting in Ukraine continues with no real end in sight, all hands are on deck as JMI provides vital aid and support to the makeshift refugee camps in Moldova.
JMI has a long term commitment to our people and programming. Our sponsorship and transitional living programs are continuing amidst the crisis. In fact, serving on the front lines along with our staff, you will find our transitional living teens joining the effort.
Our areas of focus are providing food, hygiene kits, bedding, medication, clothes and shoes, heaters and gas, Bibles, and child friendly spaces and child protection. JMI is set apart from many other organizations working in Eastern Europe because of the preexisting relationships that we have with different churches. Because of these existing networks, we have over 50 churches in 50+ villages throughout Moldova which help us deliver the much-needed aid and supplies.
As long as there are refugees, JMI will continue to serve them.
For the mother who crossed the snowy Moldovan border with her 20-day old baby and waited 44 hours in line to reach safety, JMI wants to help create a place of refuge. For the 16-year-old boy who left Ukraine alone, without his family, JMI wants to provide safety. We are linking arms with our Moldovan staff to care for those fleeing their war-torn homes. As the fighting continues, it will only become harder for us to continue our programming and provide aid. Inflation is still a reality for Moldovans, with prices rising by the hour. The supply chain is broken, making common necessities more and more difficult to come by.
We are so incredibly grateful for the generous gifts from our partners that have allowed us to step in and be a part of providing for Ukrainian Refugees. As we look at the future of our ministry in Moldova, we hope that you will continue to partner with us through prayer and giving. The need is great, but there is so much that we can do to bring peace and support to those fleeing Ukraine.