Scottish Mission churches and members have responded generously to an appeal to raise money for ADRA’s emergency relief fund for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. In just over a week, more than £7500 was donated. In a Pound-for-Pound matching challenge the Scottish Mission pledged to match donations, and this has doubled the total raised to £15 074.88 as of Thursday afternoon, 10 March. The pledge to match donations is still ongoing with the deadline for this drive being the 14th of March 2022. It is therefore possible for the total funds raised to increase even more in coming days
Scottish Mission president, Pastor Jimmy Botha responded, saying, “This is wonderful to witness, and it is beautiful to see the children of God come together in such a way. I would like to express my humble gratitude to everyone in the Mission, who made contributions, small or large, to this appeal. It remains a humbling thought, that when there is strife, humans come together in marvellous ways to help one another out.”
The money raised in this challenge is received by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in the UK (ADRA UK) who directs it to projects in Europe where they are using it based on the needs that they have there. Bert Smith, Director of ADRA UK explains that the ADRA Network Emergency Response Team is on the ground with surge capacity coordinating the response from Romania and Poland. He says, “Refugees continue to cross the border to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova. They are crossing the border in cars, by trains and by foot. Some are waiting in line for up to 60 hours in harsh winter conditions.”
“The situation is desperate right now,” says Bert Smith, “and it will continue like this for some time.” Thanking church members across the UK who have donated around £70 000 in total so far, he suggests, “Maybe you may want to consider not only giving a one-off donation, but you may want to set up a regular monthly direct debit to support our work with the world’s most vulnerable people.” A direct debit can be set-up online at adra.org.uk/donate. Single donations can also be made at the same address.
Locally in the United Kingdom and Scotland, ADRA is also planning in advance to support displaced people from Ukraine as they arrive in our country. On Wednesday the I am Urban Initiative which is a domestic programme co-ordinated by ADRA held a weekly meeting with key community Services personnel to continue discussions on how ADRA and churches can have a collaborative approach to supporting displaced people. The Scottish Mission was also represented on this meeting. The team is looking at pre-positioning local community grassroots hubs to support refugees when they arrive in this country. Scottish Mission pastors have been informed about some of these discussions and they will be meeting in coming days to discuss specific responses that could be launched in church districts in Scotland. Pastor Jimmy Botha says, “By next week we hope we can make some announcements about how churches and church members can help in tangible ways, locally.”
In the meantime, there are four days left in the Pound-for-Pound matching challenge. Pastors, church leaders, and members are encouraged to make a further push to try to increase how much money we can raise for this first round of support for our projects in the countries around Ukraine.
How to continue supporting this fundraising drive:
On Sabbaths during Church worship services. Donations can be given as offerings in local churches. Place the offerings in an envelope and mark it for ADRA Relief Fund.
Electronic Transfer to local church accounts. If your local church has an arrangement to receive electronic transfers, you can transfer money to your local church account. Mark it for ADRA and/or e-mail your church treasurer to inform them of the transfer and what the donation is for.
Directly on the ADRA-UK website. Donate directly here. If you are a taxpayer you can also ask ADRA to claim gift-Aid on these donations. Please send a copy of the receipt to Hellevi at the Mission Office so that the Scottish Mission can match your donation.
On the Scottish Mission website. Donate on our website. Mark the purpose of the funds as “ADRA Emergency appeal”