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  • Writer's pictureIan Green

Restoring Hope

Being a refugee is an extremely vulnerable position, but for disabled refugees there are even more challenges!

Back in April 2022, the Apostolic Church of Diaconia evacuated a group of 50 people (disabled, elderly and their relatives) from the Ukraine to the Czech Republic and have been responsible for their care ever since.


They’re seeing lives transformed as they cater for these very specific needs. I was pleased to be able to help this compassionate organisation successfully apply for funding from Samaritan’s Purse Canada last year. Those funds assisted them in supporting some of the activities for this special group.

 

Apostolic Church Diaconia - Karvina, Czech Republic

Contact: Viacheslav Kostiukovych

Since their arrival with almost nothing, the Apostolic Church Diaconia cares for each member of the group. Settling them into more comfortable housing and providing the disabled people and their relatives with everything necessary for life. School for the children, help with food, medicines, medical appointments, wheelchairs and equipment. Clothes, furniture, assisting with visa appointments and help for the relatives of the disabled people to find employment and adapt to normal life.


Jointly with the Silesian Diaconia they also run language courses for the families and enhanced individualised integration activities, psychological and trauma relief of the disabled people, their relatives and children and other Ukrainian refugees who require their help.


They share the gospel and offer them the opportunity to participate in services and other congregational life not only in our church, but in various evangelical churches in our area, so they can choose.

 

An example of the impact they are having is shown through the story of Katia Bukreeva. A young woman in the group who suffered a stroke resulting with half of her body being paralyzed. She has her 12 year old son Misha and her 84 year old grandmother with her. Katia had already given up on her life and health. But the Diaconia couldn't let that happen.They have surrounded her family with constant care and attention, and are now doing everything necessary for her recovery and rehabilitation.


They purchased a powered wheelchair for her, this was difficult to find as she needed a specific one that she could control with her left hand, but they finally found it and now her life has changed for the better. She is a completely different person, and recently, during a meeting, with tears of joy in her eyes, she said: “I cannot find such words to express my gratitude to the people from Samaritan’s Purse and the Apostolic Church Diaconia. From the deep of my heart, thank you!

 

God has also been answering their prayers to help them serve these refugees well. This year, they provided shelter to the family of Pastor Dmitry from the Evangelical Charismatic Church in Kyiv. A born again brother passionate about evangelism. His arrival became an important event and gift from God, because many of the families need more spiritual support. Pastor Dmitry now organises regular meetings not only for disabled people from their group, but also for other Ukrainian refugees in the region. They donated several dozen Ukrainian Bibles to him, which he can now distribute to others during his ministry. Unlike their Czech spiritual workers, he does not have a language barrier problem, he can much better serve with words and prayers, and answer difficult spiritual questions that people ponder in connection with their life situation.

The Apostolic Church Diaconia still needs donations to support this group, if you can help, please get in touch ian.green@iangreen.org.

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