Polish Church Turns into Refugee Center with Help of Operation Blessing: 'We Should Share His Love'
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PRZEMYSL, Poland - More than 4.5 million Ukrainians have now fled the assault on their country. While one neighboring country tries to take these Ukranians' homeland by force, their western neighbor is opening its arms to those escaping the terror.
Poland has taken in more than half of those refugees as towns along the border are still opening their arms to help. Here in the border town of Przemysl, refugees are finding comfort and shelter in the local church.
Since the war began roughly six weeks ago, Pastor Czeseaw Kusmider of the Nazaret Church has seen hundreds of refugees pass through his doors.
"We weren't prepared, it was overwhelming... but I believe that God prepared us anyway, and we see the big need so we responded to the need," Kusmider told CBN News.
Several areas, including the main sanctuary, now serve as bedrooms for displaced families. A spacious kitchen equipped with a cappuccino maker provides refugees like Ania and her 12-year-old daughter, a small reminder of home.
"We have hot water, we have separate rooms, we have bedrooms. People are very nice," she said.
Ania and her daughter left eastern Ukraine three weeks ago at the urging of her husband who stayed behind to fight. They're living here until they get their visas to England.
"We got tired of sleeping in our clothes and wondering if the bombs were going to hit us," she said.
Here at the Operation Blessing tent, many more come through to receive hot drinks, blankets, and enjoy a place for their children to play. If they have nowhere to go, that's where Operation Blessing and Pastor Czeseaw work together.
Operation Blessing's Mark Dijkens says, "On several occasions, we made a phone call to this pastor and he showed up not even 40 minutes later with his van and with his team to bring people to the church where they could spend the night... The church has turned into a refugee center."
O.B. provides hygiene kits and other relief items. "It's a good partnership," Pastor Czeseaw said.
Another woman we spoke with named Ania, a Polish native working with Operation Blessing, says helping these people is what Jesus would do.
"Whatever you do to the least of these you do to me," she said. "Imagine if Jesus was crossing the border, what would you do? You would do whatever you could to clothe him, feed him, keep him warm, give him clothes, to help him, and love him. He loves us so much and we should share his love with other people."
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