Pictured: The church in Ivano-Frankivsk operates Nazaret House by flashlight when the lights go out.
Dear JEEP Supporters,
I want to begin by thanking you all for your generous support of the saints in Eastern and Central Europe. The long standing relationships we have formed with ministers and believers, now in Hus Presbytery churches, has made it possible for us to support Christians during the most difficult circumstances they have experienced in places like Mogilev, Belarus and Mykolaiv, Ukraine. Your generosity has made our work possible, and we thank you.
There are many opportunities to show Christian love and provide for the needs of men and women with whom we have formed such strong bonds. I want to outline what that provision looks like in the coming year and encourage you to highlight these ministry opportunities in your churches.
The 2022 operating (ordinary) JEEP support budget for long-term projects and ministry support has been increased by 15% over last year’s General Fund budget. Jobs and tithes are scarcer now than before the war.
Gaps remain in the local churches’ ability to minister to their flocks. We were able to respond to church building and infrastructure needs with $70,000 in funds that you have generously provided. Pastoral and diaconal support from our Ukraine relief budget runs $25,000 per month. This winter the cost of electricity and gas is going to make things very difficult. Rolling blackouts are already occurring. We would like to provide $35,000 in cooking, heating, and lighting supplies to Ukraine for this winter. The estimated cost of our war relief efforts will be well over $300,000 for the year. We estimate that the current Ukraine relief funds will be exhausted by July, so please consider further donations to support the CREC churches in Ukraine.
I know that the economic situation is increasingly difficult here in North America, but I would remind you that if it’s bad in a place like middle America, it’s exponentially worse in places like Ukraine and Belarus. The inflation rate in Ukraine is 30%, for example, where the war is in its ninth month. Some might be feeling war news fatigue, but the work of the Church continues, and we appreciate PM Bogumil Jarmulak’s ongoing updates. The relentless attack on the infrastructure of Ukraine is going to cause catastrophic shortages when it comes to heating and food for everyone in Eastern and Central Europe. This is the first and most serious need. The funds needed to buy pellet heaters and generators are going to eat away at emergency resources. It is difficult to predict what rent, food, and fuel prices will be.
My church has dedicated a portion of its budget to support the JEEP General Fund and the Ukraine Relief Fund, so that JEEP can react to the immediate needs of our brothers and sisters in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as fund long term projects that will build up the churches in these countries. The long-term hope of JEEP is that it will no longer be necessary, and so we plan and strategize. We gather and scatter in hopes of seeing the increase that our Lord Jesus alone can provide.
On behalf of the saints of Central and Eastern Europe, I thank and encourage you to not grow weary in doing good.
For the Executive Committee,
Mike Kloss, Chair