Multiply, the North American mission agency, invites its constituency to support Mennonite Brethren in Ukraine with prayer and financial support.
“As a global Mennonite Brethren family, we feel very connected to Ukraine, not only because the historical roots of our MB movement are there, but because we partner with a network of 25 MB churches there,” writes Vic Wiens, Multiply interim general director, in a March 1 email to supporters. “We are in close contact with leaders like Maxym and Anya Oliferovski, who oversee Multiply’s work in Ukraine, and with Johann Matthies, our regional team leader for Europe and Central Asia.”
Pray for Ukraine
The Oliferovskis and Matthies plead for prayers that God would intervene and stop the war. Maxym reports they are seeing miracles.
“There was a children’s shelter that was bombed, but somehow all of the children were on one side of the building, and the missile hit the other side, and no one was hurt,” he says. “So, it seems like God put his angels there and protected them. We count these as miracles, and we ask you to pray for even more.”
Matthies is thankful for prayers from the global MB church. “It’s so good to know that we have a global family that will find every possible way of coming alongside those who suffer, and to encourage those who suffer,” he says.
Give to Ukraine
According to the Multiply website, the global MB family is mobilizing in different ways to offer practical help to those who are fleeing from the war and those who are remaining in Ukraine. The financial resources Multiply supplies to Ukrainian MB churches are critical in providing relief now but also in providing ongoing support for their ministries.
Maxym and Anya have will stay in Ukraine for now, and they continue to oversee efforts to help people in practical ways within the country.
Matthies tells of MB church planters in Dnipro who recently fled their community with their family because of the bombing. They have now fled to another part of Ukraine. With resources that Multiply is sending to them, they are preparing food for others and trying to give people hope. If the fighting continues, they may flee the country, but for now they have a ministry where they are at, so they will stay.
Those wanting to support the relief effort in Ukraine can donate to the Multiply Ukraine Ministry Project. In addition to urgent needs in the war zones, this project will support MB churches in Ukraine with ongoing discipleship and church-planting, as well as with practical ministries like the New Hope Center that serve youth at risk and families in crisis.
Multiply’s ministry in Ukraine
Multiply reports that although Ukraine has faced years of political instability and now full-scale war, the 25 MB churches have been growing and embracing their role of influence within society. Multiply is involved in discipleship and church planting by providing support and training to local pastors. Multiply also supports the New Hope Training Center, which provides orphans with vocational training.
Ukrainian MB churches are especially focused on the marginalized, those who have been left behind by society and traditional churches. Their vision is to see multiplying churches that utilize a holistic approach to serve and transform local communities. For years, these churches have organized relief for people in the Donetsk war zone, providing food, medicine, water and the Good News.
“This relief is now needed on an even greater scale, and our churches are already helping provide people with food, fuel, medicine and aiding in relocation of women and children,” says Wiens. “They will continue to do so long-term, and we will commit to sharing reports of their ministry with all who support this project.”
For updates on Multiply’s work in Ukraine, visit https://multiply.net/ukraine-in-crisis