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Little church serves Ukrainians


KAUNAS, Lithuania — This small nation on the Baltic Sea, which borders Belarus and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, has become a hub of relief efforts for victims of the war in Ukraine.

Vladimir Rancev

Vladimir Rancev

“Our little congregation in Kaunas, operating on faith, has rented apartments for about 30 refugees so far,” said Vladimir Rancev, minister for the Kaunas Church of Christ. “Our goal is to provide for their needs while they get settled and find employment. A number of these adults and children attend our Sunday services regularly.”

Rancev grew up in Soviet Lithuania and learned Russian, making him a valuable resource for the refugees. With support from a member of the Stephenville Church of Christ in Texas, the Kaunas church was able to house 10 Ukrainian children at its day care center.

“We invited the refugees to attend our prayer meetings, where they keep receiving comfort and reassurance from God,” said Jonas Baltrusaitis, director of the day care center. “Some of our members have experience working with children. They have been doing pedagogical work for more than 35 years and have seen difficult cases, so children with war experience did not scare us.”

Church members have organized classes for the children in subjects including math, English, Lithuanian, Bible, music and chess, Rancev said.

The congregation asks for additional resources to help amid the ongoing tide of refugees.

FUNDS FOR REFUGEES in Lithuania may be sent to the Grand Strand Church of Christ in Surfside Beach, S.C. See grandstrandchurchofchrist.com or call (843) 650-9711.

Filed under: International Kaunas Church of Christ Lithunia News refugees Russia Ukraine war Stephenville Church of Christ Top Stories Ukraine Ukraine war

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