Documentary showcases Thrive Center’s work with Ukrainians

Documentary highlights unique partnership fulfilling physical and spiritual needs.

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Boris Borisov, pastor of Pacific Keep Church, completes his on-camera interview with the Viewpoint film crew. Photo by Don Morris

A USMB church’s work with Ukrainian refugees is airing in a documentary on public television reaching up to 60 million people. Boris Borisov, pastor of Pacific Keep Church (PKC), is featured on a June segment of Viewpoint, hosted by actor Dennis Quaid, as part of a larger story on Thrive Center, which houses Ukrainian refugees in Spokane, Washington.

Viewpoint’s team creates short-form, 3- to 6-minute segments designed to educate and inspire, and this segment highlights Thrive’s work to solve complicated housing problems.

“The story focuses on how arriving refugees from Ukraine have found a hub where they’re able to transition into a new culture and country and get a foundation under their feet,” Borisov says. “It shows the church is involved in finding solutions at a practical level.”

Borisov and others from local churches, including USMB’s Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church, started the Ukraine Relief Coalition (URC) in response to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. URC coordinates prayer, humanitarian aid and refugee resettlement.

Many Ukrainians landed in Spokane when the Biden administration authorized Uniting for Ukraine, a streamlined process allowing up to 100,000 Ukrainians to apply for humanitarian parole for a two-year stay in the U.S.

URC partner Thrive International secured a vacant hotel to provide temporary housing. Within two weeks, 200 refugees filled Thrive Center, which has remained full and has had a waiting list of as many as 80 families. At the end of May, 30 families were on the waiting list.

Conversations about the documentary began when USMB National Director Don Morris received a phone call from Viewpoint’s producer.

“He indicated he had read some things on our website that might fit the parameters of this series—programs of outreach, help for people in need,” Morris says. “I mentioned the Thrive project and his ears really perked up.”

Morris connected the producer with Borisov, who worked with Viewpoint’s creative team to narrow the documentary’s focus. Filming took place one day in February and included on-camera interviews and refugee family stories.

“I talk about the importance of relationship and how the church really brings that community,” Borisov says. “We focus so much on the economic needs of people—housing, transportation, jobs—but we forget that our highest need is to be fulfilled spiritually, and only God can provide that.”

The documentary was to air on public television in June and a link to the documentary will be provded on the CL website. A regional commercial is expected to air in the Spokane area for a year.

The segment calls for support for Thrive Center, though Borisov also requests prayer for legislation allowing Ukrainians to stay in the U.S. The parole status of Ukrainians admitted under Uniting for Ukraine will begin expiring in April 2024. Borisov is helping draft the Ukrainian Adjustment Act, which would allow Ukrainians to apply for asylum status and stay permanently in the U.S.

For Borisov, the documentary highlights a unique partnership fulfilling both physical and spiritual needs.

“The church can work with organizations that provide all these other material things, but we’re the ones who know the importance of God,” Borisov says. “The Thrive Center has the church as a partner at the table providing the gospel and the message of Jesus.”—Janae Rempel

When the documentary is released, a link will be included with this story online.

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