4/19/2022 – A Help Center that helps

Krakow, Poland: When the concept of a ‘Crisis Center’ was first discussed, this original name seemed to convey a message that we hoped would be removed: ‘crisis’.  The Shelter was the first component put in place by the MTW Ukraine Crisis Response Team.  Immediate, emergency housing was needed to help displaced Ukrainian families find a place in their movement west, away from the war and death, to pause, breath, assess, and grasp for some order and control of their lives. With a capacity of 22 beds (with porta-cribs), The Shelter is a temporary place of refuge for primarily women and children who have left husbands, fathers, sons and brothers behind to fight.  Over time, an awareness of a further need beyond The Shelter became evident. A place was needed where families – mothers and children, could go and try to reclaim some normalcy.  A facility located near The Shelter, about a 10-minute walk, was secured for the ‘Crisis Center’. 

With the help of volunteers coming from Europe and the US, the building, formerly a bank branch, was converted, repaired, cleaned and repurposed. The vision was for the Crisis Response Team and our partnering church, Christ the Savior Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Krakow, to work together to create a ‘Crisis Center’, a place where families could come to participate in planned activities, use the internet, share meals, replenish clothing, and simply to hang out. 

The vision for the center was needed, but the name was problematic. The decision was made to change the name, ‘Crisis Center’ to ‘Help Center’.  It was felt that everyone had had enough ‘crisis’ for a lifetime and with the Center’s name focused on ‘crisis’ did not seem healthy. 

The Help Center has taken off with gatherings focused on children’s activities.  The Easter week included the kids drawing resurrection themed drawings, painting Easter eggs, and adding to the Help Center’s ambiance by putting Christian symbols on the walls. 

The mothers were not left out.  On Saturday before Easter, the ladies were treated to a ‘Ladies Brunch’ where the church and Crisis Team members worked together to pamper the women who have been through so much.  Of course, the kids were entertained in a different area. 

The Shelter and the Help Center are important components enabling displaced Ukrainian families, not all are believers, experience the love of Christ through His people.  Pray for a day when the Shelter and Help Center are no longer needed.

3 responses to “4/19/2022 – A Help Center that helps”

  1. Thank you for the news! At Northwoods Presbyterian Church, USA, our pastor prayed for those who the resurrection is felt most deeply this year, because they have lost loved ones.

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  2. Thank you for this update. I’m so glad to see the blessing that The Help Center is to these women & children in need. Praying that all would know Jesus.

    Like

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