We’ve all seen the horrific images of the crisis in Ukraine, of cities flattened, families torn apart, and innocent lives lost. Those emotions that well up within us lead most of us to wonder what we can do about it. We know we can pray and send resources to well-vetted organizations on the front lines of helping refugees.
But what if you’ve been to Ukraine before and worked with people in the surrounding countries for decades? Would you be willing to get on a plane to offer your assistance?
These questions weighed on Ralph Stocks, retired CBF Field Personnel to Hungary and Romania, in the first few days after the conflict started. For nearly 25 years, Ralph and Tammy Stocks worked with the Roma people, serving in a long-term presence in Eastern Europe.
Sensing a call, Ralph reached out to his friends at Project Ruth, who was already driving refugees from the Ukraine-Romania border to safety, medical care, shelter, and resourcing. Knowing he could be a resource and support their work, Ralph flew to Romania for a six-week commitment to assist.
We sat down with Stocks to learn what he is seeing, hearing, and experiencing as he works with people in this unthinkable crisis.
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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy