As the war in Ukraine continues to shatter lives and ravage cities, we have the opportunity to support Ukrainian refugees through the European Crisis Fund. The Reformed Church of America (RCA) created this fund to support our partners on the ground in Europe as they provide humanitarian aid to displaced people who have been forced to flee their homes in Ukraine.
This Euro Partnership has humble beginnings. Fifth Church is one of four pioneer churches in West Michigan to partner with Hungarian Reformed Church leaders to plant several new churches in Debrecen, Hungary. That initial partnership has grown into a European church planting initiative called Euro Partnership. Doug & Diane McClintic were called to serve as (RCA) missionaries in Hungary to lead this effort.
Doug and Diane were recently travelling to the Netherlands to visit one of the Euro Partnership church plants. On the train they met two young women from Ukraine. They were sisters, both in their early 20s. They left behind their parents and three brothers, who had been conscripted into the army, to move to the Netherlands to live with relatives for the duration of the war. Doug & Diane engaged them in conversation and listened to their story. Doug gave them his card and told them of his connections in the city to where they were moving – it was a city with one of the new Euro Partnership church plants. He encouraged them to call him if they had any needs.
To Doug’s surprise, one of the women called the next day, a Sunday, and said, “We have learned that the only way people get around in this city is by bike.” Doug said, “Ah! You need bikes. Meet us tomorrow at the bike shop, and we’ll buy you two bikes.” It turned out that the bike shop was closed on Monday, and Doug & Diane were returning to Hungary that day. Doug asked the Euro Partnership church planter in the city to follow up with the women. He did, and we provided two bikes for them. In addition to a couple bikes, a relationship was created with a church plant and a local pastor.
As you give to the European Crisis Fund, the money will be directed by our local leaders on the ground to assist Ukrainian refugees in Hungary and across Europe. Let’s give generously!