We’ve reached the two-year mark of the COVID pandemic, and just when things were finally starting to return to normal, we have a new international crisis to contend with!
As many of you know, the last few weeks have been characterized by the Russian invasion of the independent country of Ukraine. Tensions began escalating in December of 2021, reaching a climax with the movement of Russian forces into Ukraine and the full-scale invasion of the country on February 24, 2022.
After the brutal European conflicts of the 20th century, we’d like to think we’re past all that — that countries don’t do that sort of thing any more. But, sadly, they do.
Homeschooling Teen has written about Ukraine before, specifically in regard to special needs orphans (2012) and civil unrest (2014). You can get a little bit of background info on the geography and history of the country by reading those articles. See what a hard life the Ukrainians have had, despite being known as “the breadbasket of Europe.”
Observing the Russia-Ukraine conflict from our position of relative safety within the US, we have the privilege of being able to turn off the news, put down our phones, and tune out when things start to get too overwhelming. But I encourage you to keep the people of Ukraine in your thoughts and prayers.
Our church is flying a blue and yellow flag as a symbol of solidarity with the Ukrainian people. Our pastor’s brother, Sean Johnson, founded the House of James refuge for orphaned and abandoned children over there. Sean and his wife and son are currently staying with some missionaries in Poland, after the State Department warned Americans to leave Ukraine. However, his wife’s family is still in Mariupol, one of the worst places to be right now. (That’s where the hospital was bombed.) There is no power, no water, no gas, no internet, and no mobile signal. The town is completely surrounded by Russian soldiers.
One of the House of James children’s homes was evacuated to temporary housing in the Czech Republic. Two of the children’s homes are farther out in the countryside away from the military actions, so they are hunkering down with food and supplies stored up. However, hundreds of evacuees are stopping by there in search of food and shelter on their way to Poland, so the House of James is offering them meals and a place to sleep.
I know many of you are looking to support the Ukrainian people in some capacity, to help with medical supplies, humanitarian aid, and other causes. There are various websites, apps, social media pages, and crowdfunding initiatives collecting donations for charities and nonprofit organizations aiding the Ukrainians.
But if you would prefer 100% your money to go straight to the people in need, and not on administration fees, please consider donating to the House of James. They will use the money where it’s needed most, to help the children and refugees. The House of James is a 501c3 non-profit, so donations are tax deductible. They take credit/debit cards, Zelle, Cash app, Venmo, PayPal, checks/money orders, or you can click, tap and snap with your phone cam. Go to: https://houseofjames.org/ways-to-give
Want to learn more? Listen to Sean’s testimony and find out how House of James got started; then watch a short documentary on the lives of the children who were once abused and abandoned; and keep watching till the end to learn how they’re dealing with the current situation. It’s only 18 minutes long, well worth viewing and sharing…
For updates, follow the House of James Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/houseofjamesministries