The Rev. Larry Myers, LCC staff coordinator for Ukrainian relief, returned home to Wisconsin from a 16-day trip to Germany. He reports the following:
Even though this trip, planned three years ago and delayed from two years ago, was originally designed as a vacation and 40th birthday present for my son Christoph, it turned out to be much more meaningful than a mere vacation.
In Marsberg, Germany, we were privileged to visit with five families of SELCU pastors’ refugee families from Ukraine. The Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine is a partner church of the Lutheran Church-Canada. It also has an affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Brethren Church in Marsberg, Germany. The congregation there is providing good care for the refugee families. Many tears and concerns were shared as both wives and children expressed their longing for husbands and fathers and their desire to be back in their home country.
In Homberg, Germany, we also visited with the extended family of another SELCU pastor. The S.E.L.K. congregation in Homberg and its pastor, the Rev. Christian Utpatel, are also doing an excellent job of caring for Ukrainian refugees. The Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche is the German partner church of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Back in Ukraine, the SELCU pastors and their laity are continuing enormous efforts in combining gospel proclamation with humanitarian relief assistance. Providing refugee evacuation to the Romanian and Moldovan borders continues, but the main efforts are now directed toward the provision of food, medicine, medical supplies, and other equipment.
Assisting with this effort in Romania is the young, 19-year-old Sergiu Trifa (son of Rev. Sorin-Horia Trifa, Romania) and his small group of volunteers. They continue to shop weekly, to assemble pallets of needed supplies, and to arrange for shipment to the SELCU in Odessa.
All of this is being supported by donations channeled through Lutheran Church Charities. We Americans tend to have short memories and like quick fixes. However, the conflict in Ukraine is not going away soon, and there are no quick fixes. I encourage you to remember your Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine and to continue supporting them. Your support is greatly needed, and it is greatly appreciated!