Helping the People of Ukraine

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Dear brothers and sisters of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese:
Many throughout the diocese have asked how they might help with the dire situation in Ukraine. As you know, the season of Lent is a time for increased prayer and almsgiving, and we would appeal for the members of the diocese to be faithful to both in this current crisis.
The first need is for God’s people to pray – especially for peace, for the witness and influence of Christians on the ground, and for those who are most vulnerable. When it comes to giving, we have been in conversation with each other, with Bishop Neil, and with provincial ministries such as the Anglican Relief and Development Fund and Anglican Immigrant Ministries. In response, here are three suggestions.

  1. Anglican Relief & Development Fund - Our own relief and development agency, ARDF, is accepting donations, the first $100,000 of which will be matched, to aid relief efforts on the ground in Ukraine. You can click here to donate:
  2. Christchurch Montgomery - Closer to home, Christchurch Anglican in Montgomery partners with Bridges of Faith, a local ministry that brings Ukrainian orphans to Alabama each Christmas for a cross-cultural experience, during which they are linked to Christian families through whom they can experience the grace and love of Jesus. Since 2010, over 150 Ukrainian children have been adopted into faithful homes through the work of Bridges of Faith. Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Tom Benz, the Director of Bridges of Faith, has been seeking to evacuate children who are actively involved in adoption processes, seeking asylum for them in the United States, knowing that a Russian overthrow of the Ukrainian government would end any hope these children would have of finalizing these adoptions. Funds contributed to Bridges of Faith will be used to find some of these children, the location of whom has been obscured by the fog of war, and to evacuate those who can be located to Romania or Poland, from which they can be brought to the United States.
  1. Incarnation Tallahassee - Finally, at Incarnation Tallahassee, there is a large family with two adopted children from Ukraine and a recent third who is now stuck in a war zone. Dr. Nick Cogan, a mathematics professor at FSU, and his eldest daughter Kenley are currently in Ukraine – driving from orphanage to orphanage – seeking to load Ukrainian children in buses and vans to drive them across the Polish border where they have contacts who can help. The stories that they have shared are heartbreaking! In some cases, orphans with mobility issues (such as cerebral palsy or those bound to wheelchairs) have been completely abandoned and left to fend for themselves, with some of the more mobile children trying to provide food and care for those who can’t move.

The Cogan’s are partnering with Legacy Refuge as well as World Children Resources. Their need for resources is very practical, including money for buses, vans, as well as plane tickets to get these children to new temporary and/or permanent homes. However, the last thing that Dr. Cogan told Canon Taylor on the phone was that, “It doesn’t matter whether Christians give to these specific groups; the important thing is just for people just to give generously toward efforts in Ukraine in some way or another.”

In gratitude for His mercies,
The Very Rev. Andrew Rowell
Dean of the Western Deanery
The Rev. Canon Taylor Bodoh
Canon for Church Planting