By Stephanie Heading
In response to the humanitarian crisis spawned by the war in Ukraine, SCBO Disaster Relief recently deployed its first team to Gdansk, Poland to work with First Baptist Church, Gdansk, feeding, clothing and sheltering mostly Ukrainian mothers and children.
The team of six men included Team Leader Chris Crothers, Lifepoint Church; Johnathan Taylor, Lifepoint Church; Pastor John Hays, Jersey Church; Ervin Andy, Jersey Church; Derek Mills, Ebenezer BC, and Terry Taylor, Chillicothe BC.
In Gdansk, the team’s assignment was to help in any way needed. “A lot of women and children have come from Ukraine into Poland as refugees. The churches and families there have been housing and feeding them and you could tell it’s taken a toll,” said Crothers. “They’re tired. That’s where we came in. Our job was to basically plug in and help in any way we could to give the people who are there a little relief.”
The team began remodeling an apartment building near the church that will house 12 refugees. “There are tenants living on the first floor, so we worked on floors two and three. The previous tenants left when COVID started so all the furniture and things were still there,” Crothers said. The team removed items, stripped wallpaper, patched walls and painted the apartments.
As the team worked, they were impressed by the Polish people. “One amazing thing about Poland is how much they are helping Ukrainians. There are close to three million refugees and no refugee camps. Refugees are all being housed by churches or Polish families. That is an amazing fact and really shows the generosity of everyone here.”
In addition to working with the Poles, the team also ministered to the Ukrainian children. “One of the highlights was the opportunity for the team to spend time sharing Christ with the refugee kids and celebrating two of their birthdays,” said Johnathan Taylor. “Many of their fathers are still in Ukraine. They have very little worldly possessions with them and they are far from home not knowing when they’ll return to home or what they’ll return to. But yet all of us can have everything in Christ.”
Ohio DR will be deploying teams to Poland monthly from now through August. If you are interested in being part of this ministry, please visit www.scbo.org/DR or contact SCBO DR Director John Heading at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Members of Ohio’s first DR team to Poland celebrated birthdays with child refugees from Ukraine.
Poles and Ukrainian refugees worship the Lord together during Sunday Worship Services at First Baptist Church Gdansk, Poland.