The why behind Christian Help for Refugees

Christian Help for Refugees (CHR) is the response of Christian organizations and churches in Moldova to the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

Our purpose is to centralize the volunteering efforts of institutions from different Christian denominations to make them more efficient. There’s a database with organizations that offer funding, housing, transportation, material help and spiritual help. And we have a single call-center for refugees to address their needs.

Early days

Refugees in the early days of the war
The Christians were the first to respond to the crisis. Even from the first day volunteers form our churches were present at the border checkpoints doing everything in their power to ease the journey of uprooted Ukrainians. About 90% of the refugees in the first 2 weeks passed through the care of the Christians of Moldova. Even now the Christians transport and host most refugees by manifesting an amazing solidarity with the afflicted. So, when the international news is surprised that Moldova, the poorest European country, has the largest number of refugees per capita, we know it’s mostly the Christians who stay behind this effort. They transformed their camps, buildings, even churches into temporary refugee camps and distribution centers, and opening their houses to shelter the Ukrainians.

However, at the beginning the Christian volunteering efforts were rather fragmented, spontaneous, and somewhat chaotic. Various churches and organizations were using some vague social media groups to share information. There were cases when there was no transportation at the checkpoint and someone would make an announcement for that. Then too many cars would respond and come. Then all those drivers would see that there’s an excess of drivers at the border. Then all drivers would cease to come at the same time. This dynamic made our relief ministry harder and harder.

Building the structure

CHR team at a weekly meeting
We realized gradually that the war in Ukraine is not going to stop anytime soon. The spontaneous and enthusiastic initiatives of the volunteers would soon make way to their tiredness and frustration unless we build a structure to ground their efforts. We don’t want volunteers to double each other’s ministry. We also don’t want ill-intended people to use the crisis to traffic anyone or to misuse the resources we made available for the refugees.

All these reasons pushed us to create Christian Help for Refugees (CHR) with a unique call-center and a single database related to refugees. It took a lot of decision making on how to structure the information, how to connect with our partners, how to advertise our services to the refugees in Ukraine. We’re still figuring it out. Moldova has never received refugees before. It’s a new thing for all of us, but we love them with the love of God and we want, we need to figure it out for them.

Now we partner with many Baptist, Pentecostal, Charismatic and other churches, and we are backed by most major Christian organizations present in Moldova.

What now

Ukrainians fleeing the war and planning to come to / pass through Moldova, we invite you to fill in the form on the homepage, so we know better how to help you. One of our consultants will contact you shortly after that.

If you’re a Christian organization or church interested in becoming a partner of CHR, we invite you to apply here.

James 1.27 “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress.” It’s quite possible this refugee crisis will be the one to define this generation of Christians in Moldova. Let’s unite and help the refugees in their distress.