Methodist, Ukrainian congregations raise money for refugees

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Posted at 10:56 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 23:12:27-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Members of the First United Methodist Church of Richmond and the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church of Lexington joined together to raise money for Ukrainian refugees Friday evening.

After a Ukrainian dinner at First United Methodist Church, a children's choir from Ukrainian Pentecostal Church sang in English and Ukrainian. Event coordinator Ginny Whitehouse said the event would raise money for refugees in Bulgaria, where they have a connection to another Methodist church in Shumen.

"It's a small community, about the size of Madison County and they have had a number of Ukrainians come there. What we've found is that, not only are they needing jobs and food and healthcare, but they also need Bulgarian lessons because their kids are about to start school in the fall," Whitehouse said.

Alex Chubaruk, president of Christian Mission Ebenezer, moved from Ukraine to the United States when he was seven. He partners with the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church and gave a sermon at the event.

"It makes you mad and upset, but then at the same time, it's like, 'Lord, give us the strength and wisdom, how to do and what can we do from our side to help our people that are going through it," he said.

His organization has sent several donations to partners in Ukraine and they hope to collect more. He said the turnout Friday evening was heartwarming.

"It is amazing to see such a big outcome of this kind of event. Many of them have come from different parts of this area and it is so awesome to hear people came from Berea, from Richmond, from other places. It's so awesome that these communities come to do something for the people they don't know or have any connections to Ukraine or Ukrainian people, but it's so beautiful to see that people care," he said.

People who missed Friday's event but are interested in helping can reach out to Richmond First United Methodist Church or Christian Mission Ebenezer.