By Richard Nations
Near the Ukraine border in Romania — Missourians Don and Diane Combs are currently serving as disaster relief volunteers in an aid station in Romania near the border of Ukraine. They are serving with Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief (MODR) in cooperation with SBC Send Relief. The Combs are from Columbia and Don is a retired pastor and a member of the Missouri Baptist Convention executive board. They attend Anthem Church in Columbia.
They said in an e-mail on March 23rd that they are in a town about 30 minutes south of the border. They reported wrapping up their first day of ministry there. Combs said there are multiple aid organizations working there along with Send Relief.
The senior pastor of the association of Baptist Churches in Northern Romania was helping the group on that first day of ministry. He is helping the group have a tent or storage container to work out of along the road coming from the border crossing.
Refugees walk or drive a car through the border crossing. Once on the Romanian side, refugees are greeted by Romanian officials who walk with them into the refugee area. There many aid workers gather around them offering assistance.
Combs said some of the refugees accept the aid being offered and others keep on moving. The aid workers are offering food, water, diapers, toys, phone charging stations and literature for the refugees. There are some tents set up where people can stop and rest for a while before moving on into the nation of Romania.
A Baptist church in a town about five minutes from the border crossing has set up a temporary shelter in the basement of their building. They are offering food and water. Most of the refugees only stay a couple of days, Combs reported.
The Combs, along with four other individuals from Texas and California, are being driven around by a local pastor from the city of Bucharest. He serves two Baptist churches every week and ministers with a group serving over a thousand orphans (teens and children) as well.
To support this effort to provide “help, hope and healing” to these Ukraine refugees in Romania, MODR officials have provided an opportunity for giving to the effort. Send checks to Missouri Baptist Convention, attention Disaster Relief, 400 E. High St., Jefferson City, MO 65101. Mark checks for Ukraine Relief. Or online contributions may be made at: https://modr.org/ukraine