Don’t let families freeze in Ukraine this winter

They've lost so much:

Don't let families freeze in Ukraine

People like you are shivering with cold right now in Ukraine. Even though they’re inside. You can help keep them warm.

Fighting for survival in Ukraine continues long after you’ve escaped the shells that exploded close to your home. The temperature falls to as low as minus 25 degrees in winter, and to survive you must find warmth. But for many people, that warmth is as distant as the peace they once lived in, a peace that must seem even more difficult to hope for after Russia captured three Ukrainian naval vessels earlier this week.

Children, the elderly, family after family have all had the foundations of their lives shattered by the war between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russia separatists. We’ve sat with them and heard their stories. And they’re heartbreaking.

An elderly woman holding a stick stands in front of firewood
You can help the elderly keep warm in Ukraine this Christmas.

Alexander and his family witnessed their town being destroyed by shelling and constant shooting. They had no choice but to flee, though even after they did, they were not out of danger. Winter was coming, but the one source of heat in the empty house they found to live in – a stove – was damaged and Alexander couldn’t afford to restore it. Months of watching his children suffer from the bitter cold, in danger of all the illnesses that come from it, lay ahead.

Were it not for the local Christians who came to their aid, Alexander, his wife Maria and their five children would have suffered more than the human body can withstand. The Christians who helped them are being supported by BMS World Mission. They’re being supported by you. That support provided a ceramic heater for Alexander and his family, providing enough heat to keep one room warm. One place to escape the cold. One place for a family to live.

“We wouldn’t be living here if not for the Christians helping us,” says Alexander. “Thank you for your help. What you’ve done cannot be described by words.”

There are countless people like Alexander and his family fighting for survival this Christmas. You can help them by giving today.

A Ukrainian family in a damaged house, that they escaped to
Alexander, Maria and their five children, have survived Ukrainian winters with your support.
A small gift will make a huge difference

£6 can supply enough wood and coal to keep a family warm for a week

£14 can protect a child from cold by clothing them in thermal underwear

£25 can provide a family with a ceramic heater

There are local Christians on the ground in Ukraine desperate to deliver the supplies that families need to keep warm this winter. They need your help. Will you make a donation today?

“No one expected that this conflict and this war would last so long,” says Igor Bandura, Senior Vice President of the Ukrainian Baptist Union. “We are praying that through our presence, God would be present there among people.”

As you prepare for Christmas, please do think about giving the gift of warmth to a Ukrainian family like Alexander’s. To the families that Igor meets. To the people who are shivering in a room without a heater because war has destroyed their livelihoods and their peace.

Please give today. Please be the difference.

Two boys shovel coal into a bag
Children in Ukraine are shivering today. You can help them.

You’re giving so much more than just presents this Christmas

You’re giving so much more than just presents this Christmas

Here are some of the ways you’ve helped people in desperate need this year.

A tarpaulin. A plastic groundsheet. Some thermal underwear. Did these items make your Christmas wish list?

You’ve given these – and other great gifts – to people in desperate need this year.

You’re providing a lifeline for Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Burma (Myanmar), and keeping hundreds of people warm in the harshness of a Ukraine winter.

As you wrap your presents and prepare for Christmas, consider this our thank you note for what you’ve already given. And a reminder of the suffering you’re helping to alleviate, in Jesus’ name, every time you give to BMS World Mission.

Refugees look through a gap in their shelter in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.
Vital aid is reaching refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, thanks to your donations. Photo by Medair/Nath Fauveau.

Rohingya refugee crisis

The Rohingya people have witnessed their loved ones being raped, beaten and executed, and their villages reduced to ashes in a brutal military offensive. The scale of the terror inflicted by Burma’s soldiers is unimaginable, as is the exodus of those being targeted. More than 650,000 Rohingya refugees have crossed from Burma’s northern Rakhine State into Cox’s Bazar district in southern Bangladesh since August. Hundreds are still crossing every day, many of them children who have run for their lives.

How you are helping: By giving to BMS you’re helping more than 500 refugees. They arrive at camps exhausted, hungry and traumatised. They have next to nothing. The tarpaulin, ground sheet and stretch of nylon rope you’ve funded for these refugees are providing shelter. Thanks to you, Rohingya people have protection from the elements, and women can maintain their dignity thanks to hygiene kits containing sanitary products. People will also receive soap for washing and laundry, as well as a cup and a three-litre water jug.

Ukraine

The conflict that erupted in eastern Ukraine in 2014 between pro-Russian separatists and pro-Ukrainian groups has displaced 1.5 million people and killed at least 10,000. Government pensions and social benefits have been stopped for people living in areas under separatist control, while schools and hospitals have also had their funding halted.

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How you are helping: The temperature in eastern Ukraine is expected to drop to -7 degrees Celsius early on Christmas Day, and it could drop as low as -28 later in the winter. You’re providing over 1,000 people with coal, firewood, ceramic heaters and wood burners so they can survive, and children are being given thermal underwear.

Rachel Conway-Doel, our Relief Facilitator, talks about the crisis in Ukraine and what you can be praying for.

Syria conflict

Lebanon continues to host the highest concentration of refugees per capita in the world, with an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees and over 15,000 people from Iraq living there. Close to half of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are children.

How you are helping: You’ve already helped dozens of children who have had their access to education shattered by conflict, and that support continues.

Thanks to your giving, at least 30 more refugee children are being taught English, Arabic and maths this school year, and doing what every child has a right to do – play.

Refugee children sit behind desks during a class in Lebanon.
Refugee children in Lebanon are being given an education thanks to you.
Your support this year has been amazing – look at what else you’ve done!

Mozambique — You gave food to 1,000 people affected by a fuel tanker explosion in Mozambique.

Haiti — You helped provide cholera prevention and treatment through water filtration after Hurricane Matthew.

Nepal — You provided food, blankets and medicine to more than 1,100 people following severe monsoon flooding.

Philippines — You helped to give medical check-ups and disaster training for community leaders following July’s earthquake.

Bangladesh — You helped to fund the rebuilding of 50 family homes destroyed by landslides in June.

South Sudan/Uganda — You gave food, tools and seeds to over 1,000 South Sudanese people in danger of starving.

No matter how much you gave this year, you made a difference. People you will never meet have been fed, sheltered and comforted thanks to your kindness. We thank you for all that you have done, and can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in 2018. Happy Christmas from all of us at BMS.