More than 70 refugees from war torn Ukraine have found shelter and care from the families of Church of the Full Gospel in Zagreb and Light of the World in Varaždin who began aiding Ukrainians in February of this year.
The first refugees cared for were family members of our Ukrainian friends who themselves fled annexed Crimea in 2014 and found their peace in Croatia. Most of the refugees have come to us with either one small suitcase and/or a backpack on their back, and no money for the smallest necessities.
Thanks to the help of friends, supporters, churches, and organizations in America our church was able to rent the first house in which we housed more than 20 refugees. 25 were housed in a suburban hotel that offered housing and food to refugees at no cost, and more than 20 other refugee families found their place in the homes of Varaždin church members.
The church has done its best to provide more than simply the basic necessities. It has gone beyond that to provide various items and activities that would help ease the emotional suffering that the Ukrainians are going through, especially for the children. Thus, family outings, days to the indoor playgrounds, museum visits, trips to the zoo, and other cultural and sports activities have been organized.
In all of this the coordinators of this ministry have unselfishly given everything they can in every aspect: from status registration and regulation to handling their refugee rights, getting them healthcare, schooling, enrollment into language school, etc. They have helped them find apartments of their own, work, information about starting up their own businesses, helping their children continue the sports or cultural activities in which they were previously involved. The first months of refugee aid have proved the undeniable need for this work for all who have joined our family from Ukraine.