For I was hungry and you gave me food . . . ” (Matthew 25:35 NRSV)
Last summer, the MCC U.S. and Canada boards traveled to Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, to remember MCC’s past and plan for MCC’s future. We heard about the impulse of Christians in the U.S. and Canada 100 years ago to help their sisters and brothers in southern Russia (present-day Ukraine) who were dying of starvation.
We visited MCC’s partners in Ukraine who are responding to people in need today — displaced people, former prisoners, people with HIV and AIDS and other marginalized groups. And we saw how MCC is helping Mennonite Brethren, Baptists and other churches respond to these present-day needs.
We visited the Zaporizhzhia Baptist Union which distributes MCC comforters, canned meat and kits to vulnerable people. The director Vadym Proshak told us, “We want people to have a chance in life and we couldn’t do what we do without MCC’s help.”
When the boards met together in Ukraine, they reaffirmed MCC’s commitment to responding to marginalized people on the move. We thanked God that MCC continues to be a ministry of the churches in the U.S. and Canada and that MCC’s work through the churches and other partners helps people in crisis and gives them ways to sustain themselves, their families and their communities.
“If you can’t help, then we will die of starvation,” Christians in the region wrote to Christians in the U.S. and Canada 100 years ago. The need around the world is as great today, and your contribution to MCC’s New Hope in the Name of Christ centennial campaign will help communities in more than 50 countries. Together, we are sharing God’s love and compassion. That’s worth celebrating!
Grace and peace to you,
J Ron Byler
MCC U.S. Executive Director