You help when others don’t: 4 ways you’ve been supporting relief work across the world

You help when others don’t:

4 ways you’ve been supporting relief work across the world

When a disaster or conflict hits a nation, we know you want to help. Thanks to your faithful support for BMS World Mission, you are.

Four disasters, each marked by terrible suffering and loss. You will have heard about the conflict in Ukraine, the civil war in South Sudan, the lingering devastation from Nepal’s earthquakes, and the impact of a tsunami on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. What you might not know is that by giving to BMS, you’ve supported the people who desperately need help. We’re in a strong position to respond in times of disaster as we’re part of a global family of Baptists.

BMS World Mission is part of the Baptist Forum for Aid and Development (BFAD), a collective of Baptist organisations from across the world devoted to supporting those left in crisis as they rebuild after a disaster strikes. But vital help wouldn’t happen without your support. “It has been a joy to see the Baptist family come together,” says Rachel Conway-Doel, BMS Relief Facilitator. “The potential we have to make an impact is very exciting.”

Here are some exciting ways that you, the BMS family, have already helped:

1. Keeping people warm in Ukraine

A truck carrying boxes.
Vital heating equipment is being distributed to people in danger of freezing in Ukraine, where temperatures can drop to minus 25 degrees in winter.

Over 1.5 million people have been displaced in Ukraine due to the ongoing conflict between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russia separatists, leaving many of them with no means to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve been able to help provide people in Ukraine with thermal underwear, ceramic heaters, coal and wood to help them get through the dangerous winter months. We’d like to say a special thank you to all those who’ve responded to our Ukraine appeal in the last few months. You’ve really made a difference!

2. Standing by the people of Nepal

A street of collapsed buildings
Nearly 8 million people were directly affected by the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal in 2015.

The media might not be there anymore, but BMS has continued to stand with the people of Nepal to help them rebuild after the catastrophic earthquakes that hit in 2015. Your giving has supported the rebuilding of public buildings and schools and provided disaster risk management training to help communities be better prepared should such a tragic disaster occur again.

3. Giving crucial support to South Sudanese refugees

A woman in a wheelchair
Many people with disabilities had to be carried out of South Sudan. You support has helped provide wheelchairs for people unable to walk.

Five years of civil war in South Sudan has forced more than two million people to flee this young nation. Many have sought refuge in Uganda, reaching camps that stretch for miles. BMS funds have so far helped provide vital food rations to 1,700 children suffering from malnutrition, as well as food, agricultural tools, wheelchairs and pastoral support to people with disabilities.

4. Coming to the aid of tsunami survivors

A destroyed van.
Thousands of people we displaced after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi last year.

Over 2,100 people were killed and 87,000 displaced after the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in October last year. Your support provided people on the ground with emergency food and personal hygiene kits and helped to build shelters and provide counselling support to trauma victims.

It’s thanks to your heart for demonstrating God’s love that we can stand alongside people who need help. When South Sudanese refugees say praise God for providing food and a wheelchair, it’s because of your solidarity in the gospel. And when an earthquake victim who’s lost their home is able to take shelter, it’s you who’s helped to provide that roof. But there are so many others we would like to support.

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Please, give today and come to the aid of those who need to know Christian love across the world. Thank you.

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.

Winter is coming

Ukraine:

Winter is coming

It’s getting cold in Ukraine. Because of the ongoing conflict, thousands of people have fled from their homes. With winter on its way, BMS World Mission is working to provide heating for families displaced by the fighting.

The temperature’s starting to drop. Soon, frost will cover the ground. The heating will be switched on. But for people in eastern Ukraine, ways of keeping warm have been taken away.

Along the boundary lines of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine, tension between pro-Russian separatists and pro-Ukrainian groups has caused violent unrest for the past three years, and there are no signs of it stopping. Parts of these regions are now controlled by the separatists, with the Ukrainian government suspending support to the area. As a result, people are without hot water. The central heating no longer works. Coal, gas and electricity are becoming increasingly more expensive, with many people unable to pay their energy bills. And with extreme winter conditions on the way, being able to stay warm is vital for families in Ukraine to survive the next few months.

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

Last year, Sergey, an elderly man living amidst the fighting, had the wall of his home heavily damaged. Not only did this let in the freezing cold, but it caused his heating system to break. BMS helped to fix the wall, and a ceramic heating panel was installed in his house, replacing the broken system. Because of your support, Sergey was able to live through the winter.

Along with local partners, last year BMS also helped another family with three young children, who had their central heating stop because energy to the building had been cut off. They weren’t able to leave the area because they were looking after their elderly parents. A ceramic heater was installed at their house, meaning they could keep looking after their parents and stay warm during the winter too. This year, thanks to your giving, we are able to help again.

Sergey, with his ceramic heater
Sergey, with his ceramic heater
A family sat by their ceramic heater given to them last year
A family keep warm thanks to a ceramic heater given to them last year.

Two million people are estimated to be living close to the boundary line of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, with a further two million people estimated to be living in the non-government controlled area. In a crisis of this scale, we’re committed to helping Ukrainians keep warm this winter.

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Working with local partners, BMS is helping one thousand people affected by this terrible conflict. We’re providing water heaters, which will give families and internally displaced people access to hot water. Ceramic heaters, coal and firewood are being given as ways for families to heat their homes. And we’re helping children receive thermal underwear, meaning they can stay warm while they sleep.

Because of your giving, Ukrainian families will stay warm and survive the winter this year, amidst the ongoing fighting. If you want to help continue BMS’ disaster recovery work, enabling us to support those trapped in wars, conflicts and natural disasters, consider giving today.