Zion continues its support of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters. Tetiana Chibova is a thirty-year-old woman with two children, Sofiia, eleven, and Olena, seven. They are from the city of Kherson, not far from Odessa. About a year ago, after her husband was killed in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she and her children escaped to Norway where they awaited an opportunity to come to the United States. Buffalo residents, Keith and Nancy Markwardt offered to be their official sponsors.
Thanks to Zion members and the surrounding community for the tremendous support you have given to the Ukrainian families that have been displaced by the war. Over $15,000 has been collected from individuals, Zion Foundation, St. Francis Xavier, Rotary, Thrivent, and the Easter Egg fundraiser. Viktoria, the young woman who we had intended to sponsor, has elected to stay in Ukraine. Her boyfriend, who she thought had died in the war, was seen in a POW camp, and was recently
Imagine huddling in a bomb shelter beneath the streets of Mariupol for three weeks trying to comfort a one-and-a-half-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl, listening to bombs destroy your home and city above you. When you finally emerge from the shelter, you drive around burned-out cars with dead bodies strewn on the roadside to escape. The dangerous journey takes you through Russia, Moldova, Italy, and Mexico before six of you arrive in Montrose, Minnesota where your mother and her husband
Sponsor Ukrainian Viktoriia Kurylenko God has presented our congregation with the opportunity to become the official sponsor for another Ukrainian who is attempting to escape her war-torn country. Viktoriia Kurylenko is a 28-year-old single woman who is a cousin of Yevhen Hrytsai, a member of the family that arrived in Montrose eight months ago. Although we were not their official sponsors, we continue to assist him and his family as they have relocated to the Twin City area. Yevhen found
Thanks to everyone who has donated household items, food, and monetary support to the Ukrainian families. They are doing pretty well and are working with different agencies to get their paperwork in order so they can get jobs. One family has moved into a home in Coon Rapids and another family has moved into an apartment in Minnetonka. One family member is still living with relatives in Montrose. They are very thankful for all that has been provided for them
In May, Zion’s church council approved the creation of a Ukrainian Refugee Working Group to investigate the opportunities and possibilities of sponsoring a Ukrainian refugee family in Buffalo. The group is researching and learning about the different opportunities offered by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and Arrive Ministries, and investigating sponsorship with other area churches, and will make a recommendation to the council on the best path forward. In the midst of that work, several in the group learned of
The scenes coming out of Ukraine since the start of the war in late February have deeply moved countless people from around the world. Images of Ukrainians fleeing by foot, car, or train, children and belongings in tow. Videos of Ukrainians sheltering in underground Metro stations, community theaters, and steel plants to escape shelling from heavy artillery, rockets, and airstrikes. Lutheran World Relief is providing food, shelter, critical health needs, emergency supplies, and emergency funds for Ukrainian refugee families in
If you are wondering about ways to support Eastern European relief efforts, Zion endorses the work of Lutheran Disaster Response. You can give to them directly or designate a gift through Zion. Give online at elca.org Lutheran Disaster Response is accompanying our companions in Ukraine, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, as well as such ecumenical partners as Lutheran World Federation and Church World Service, in their humanitarian responses to the crisis. These partners provide refugees with immediate support and supplies such