The parachurch ministry organization Youth For Christ has raised nearly $170,000 to help support staff and volunteers who were forced to flee their homes amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
YFC volunteers, staff and others have donated, as of April 4, a little over $169,500 to help 75 people associated with Youth For Christ Ukraine who were driven from their homes.
Joe Beckler, director of communications and change management at YFC, told The Christian Post on Monday that the funds will “be sent to YFC International’s European regional office for distribution, oversight and stewardship.”
The “initial goal,” according to Beckler, was to raise $135,000, which would support 75 people over three months, with the “understanding that $20 per day provides food and shelter for one YFC Ukraine staff or volunteer who is displaced in Slovakia.”
“We made an appeal to all staff, volunteers and giving partners across the United States. Their generosity was remarkable. As of April 4, we’ve raised $169,615.50, and the gifts continue to come in,” said Beckler.
In addition to financially supporting the displaced personnel, Beckler told CP that they hope to use some of the funds to later rebuild their ministry efforts in the Eastern European nation.
Beckler spoke highly of Youth For Christ Ukraine, explaining that the ministry group “has a faithful history of providing services to children and youth.”
“Their ministry includes several teen centers in the capital city, where youth come for safety, meals, fellowship, and support through trauma,” he continued.
“A few days into the invasion of Ukraine, we began to receive reports regarding our YFC Ukraine team. We were concerned and eager to provide any support possible. We consider all YFC teams, across the globe, as family and were eager to lean in and help.”
Beckler hoped that “others would join us in praying for peace and protection in Eastern Europe. While the world is caught up in crisis, we are confident that our hope remains solely in Jesus Christ.”
Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February, many churches and ministries in the United States have sought to help those directly affected by the conflict.
Gateway Church, a multisite megachurch based in Texas, recently helped relocate around 400 Ukrainian refugees through cooperation with ministry partners in the country.
“God loves and has not forgotten about the people of Ukraine,” said Lawrence Swicegood, spokesperson for Gateway, in an earlier interview with CP. “We believe as Christians that we should be proactive in helping people in their time of need.”
“War has devastated so many, but it has not crushed the spirit and hope of Ukrainian people.”