Update from Ukraine
April 7th, 2022
As we started the day at Metro buying food and supplies for two centers. We stopped first to see the work CRF has supported for more than 15 years at another “orphanage.” The government provides about $8 daily per person for food, but that is not sufficient. These are older boys/young men who are mentally/physically challenged. Most are functioning at a 5-7 year old level. The coordinator there, Valarya, also coordinates a refugee center where we made our first delivery. This center is in a not-in-use school and gym, capable of holding up to 125 people. They take in all levels of support, from transients to those wanting to stay in Romania.
Not all refugees are Ukrainian. One who we met was Teiwo, a 35 y/o man from Nigeria. He had been working in Mariupol, site of horrific bombing. He fled to Odessa to try and work, but then decided his best option was to leave, so he tagged along with a Ukrainian family and headed to Romania via Moldova. He arrived in Bucharest in the second half of March. Since then, the program coordinators have helped him complete the necessary paperwork to seek asylum in Romania. He has already started interviewing for jobs. Below there are photos of the gym where women and families minus husbands stayed.
Then we proceeded to a small church for the second food/supply drop. This is a small but very effective program run by a minister friend of Laurentiu Tene. The church of about 80 collected money and converted their upstairs to two bedrooms, a full bathroom, plus fully equipped kitchen and washroom. We met a family of 7 from Odessa. 27 y/o Valerii and 26 y/o wife Raisa fled with their 5 children, all under the age of 8 (!!!) just before Russia invaded. Valerii, a used car salesperson, and Raisa had all their belongings in 5 suitcases. Due to a documentation issue with at least some of their children (likely due to birth certificate issues), they are unable to travel onward, so they will be in Romania for the extent of the war, after which they intend to return to Odessa. The minister Ioan (Anglicized John) told me they are prepared to help them for the entire time.
April 6th, 2022
We had the opportunity to send in a team to deliver needed supplies and support to the Bucharest Residential Center for Children with Disabilities which CRF has supported for more than 15 years now. From there we proceeded to our first refugee center which has been created in a local boarding school dormitory. We delivered food, toiletries and necessary kitchen supplies.
While there we visited specifically two Ukrainian families – mothers and daughters – who’ve been in the center since March 19. They were evacuated from Krivoy Rog, Ukraine, and received priority due to disabilities. They spent 24 hours moving overland by bus and train in Ukraine, making it to the Romanian border, where they spent a night, then traveled 2 more days getting to Bucharest.
Svetlana and her almost 9 year old daughter Sofia left their husband/father behind. Svetlana has a foot issue causing her to walk with a limp. Svetlana and Sofia were told we were helping them receive food and toiletries. Sofia went into their room and retrieved a small rock painted the color of the Romanian flag and a small notebook with a drawing of two hearts holding hands. One flag was the colors of the Ukrainian flag, the other the colors of the Romanian flag. She gave the rock to Eugen Ana’s wife, Kathryn.
We continued to visit and I told the interpreter I wanted to show Sofia a photo of my two oldest grandchildren, which were about her age. When I said that I noticed Sofia smiled and she moved towards me. I looked at the interpreter and she told me Sofia has been learning English and understood what I said, which prompted the move.
A few minutes later Sofia asked her mother to tear the picture out of the book. Svetlana did, and Sofia took it and came towards me again. She wanted me to have the picture. I bent down to thank her and hug her, and she gave me the biggest, longest hug. I’m glad it was a long hug because it took some time to regain my composure.
The other mother is Victoria and her 5 year old daughter Veronica. They also left behind husband/father and Victoria’s in-laws who would not leave because they were too concerned for their son who was fighting in the war. Veronica has some delayed mental and physical abilities, suffers from seizures and is in need of a wheelchair. There are hurdles that are slowing down delivery of the wheelchair, so we will be buying her one.
From there we moved to another refugee center set up in a church building to house transient refugees – those who will be in-country a max of 10 days before heading to an onward destination. It is set up with a number of “apartments” – mostly classrooms. They have a large room and kitchen as well. We took breakfast food stuffs, again for at least the third time. The facility director told us this was one of their biggest needs. They have another center in a nearby school whose director is heading the effort at both places. We spent some time there as well.
Please continue to pray for all those that are affected by this situation.
March 15th, 2022
Our team in Romania has been hard at work gathering and delivering supplies to help Ukrainian refugees. We are also creating temporary housing spaces to provide a safe place to sleep until more long-term solutions can be found.
Thank you for continuing to give to make this work possible!
Please pray for all of those affected by this terrible tragedy.
March 8th, 2022
I’ve talked to so many of you who want to help with the Ukraine crisis through CRF.
We will be working through our CRF program in Romania to help and host Ukrainian refugees. There are around a million refugees today entering other countries from Ukraine. With your help we will be offering assistance and relief to the refugees who have entered Romania.
We now have a way to get financial assistance to help our sponsored children in need in Ukraine. Galina, our CRF director, lives right on one of the main streets in Kiev. I’m sure you have seen the news and know what that is like. As a result, there is a lot of movement among our people there and major difficulties with communication. We are working hard to continue supporting our kids who are still there.
Thanks for your generosity. Thanks for your prayers.
If you want to assist the relief effort, you can donate online. You can also mail a check to our office.
May peace come to Ukraine!
— Milton Jones, CRF President
February 28th, 2022
Dear CRF supporters!
I know that you are concerned about the horrible tragedy in Ukraine. If you don’t know, CRF has 66 sponsored children in Kyiv and Odessa. Our program there needs us to be praying like crazy for them. Many of you have contacted me asking how you can help. Let me be honest about our current situation.
We are not able to contact through email or phone Galina Cherevchuk, our director in Ukraine. As a result, we don’t have current information on our children there. Our banks also cannot assure us of the ability to send funds where we wire them in Ukraine. We are working diligently to communicate there and to be able to send money. However, we have some limitations at the present time.
We are asking current child sponsors to continue their sponsorships. We will get your support there as fast as we possibly can.
Many of you have volunteered to send additional funds. Since we can’t get the money there now, it would be better to wait until we have the ability to send donations. We will inform you when that time comes.
By being a CRF sponsor, I know you love and care for vulnerable children. Please continue to pray. God is there. God loves these kids. God is merciful. And God has the power to do something.
Thanks a trillion!
— Milton Jones, CRF President
About Christian Relief Fund
CRF is a non-profit relief organization based in Amarillo, Texas with a focus on holistic programs to rescue orphans and vulnerable children from poverty.
CRF operates child sponsorship programs in over 25 countries and is dedicated to providing food, clean water, healthcare and disaster relief to the glory of God worldwide.