Update: We have a more recent update as of March 9 here.
Russia has launched a large-scale invasion on Ukraine, where HOPE International first began microfinance operations to serve Ukrainian entrepreneurs and families 25 years ago. Bombings and attacks have been reported across the entire country. We are in daily contact with HOPE Ukraine staff as we consider how we can best serve and respond.
We’re firm believers in the power of prayer, and as supporters of HOPE, the most impactful thing you can do right now is pray—please learn more below to know how you can join us in prayer.
What we have learned:
- Conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not new, but has escalated recently. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and has since backed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine. In late 2021, Russia began a massive troop buildup around Ukraine.
- Early on February 24, Russia attacked multiple targets across Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv. There have also been reports of incursions by land, air, and sea.
How we are responding:
- We are in contact with all HOPE Ukraine staff to enact relocation plans and move ahead with contingency plans for operations in the coming days. Most staff closest to the Russia-Ukraine border have already relocated.
- Our focus now is planning for how best to support the families we serve in this time. Conflict often means disruption and uncertainty for business owners, many of whom rely on daily income to provide for their families. Many entrepreneurs’ businesses are now severely impacted as millions of Ukrainians relocate within and outside of the country.
- We hope and pray that this disruption will be short-lived, but we’re also preparing for the possibility of longer-term impact to our work in Ukraine.
How you can pray:
- For peace and protection: Pray that the current conflict with Russia will cease; pray for protection and peace for all of Ukraine.
- For the Ukrainian Church: Pray for church leaders as they seek to guide their communities and respond with love, faith, and prayer to the ongoing situation.
- For the entrepreneurs we serve: Pray for wisdom and hope as they navigate business disruptions, uncertainty, and decreased income.
- For loan officers and staff working directly with entrepreneurs: Pray that our loan officers and support staff would have Spirit-filled strength to be a witness for Christ amid uncertainty, supporting entrepreneurs just as they have been throughout the pandemic.
- For leaders: Pray for wisdom, clarity, and mindfulness for Ukrainian leaders making decisions during this crisis—both government officials and HOPE Ukraine staff.
HOPE’s 25-year history in Ukraine:
- Ukraine is the first country where HOPE served entrepreneurs with microfinance loans, beginning in 1997. Watch this video about HOPE’s origin story.
- HOPE Ukraine currently operates 12 branch offices across Ukraine (see map above) to provide loans for small businesses, educational expenses, housing improvement, and agriculture. As of last December, we were actively serving more than 500 men and women.
- Several years ago, HOPE Ukraine also launched savings groups to serve the Roma people, a marginalized people group in western Ukraine.
Thank you for joining with us in prayer.
We invite you to learn more about how we continue to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in our recent update on March 9. For more ways to pray, also see this 4-minute prayer video for Ukraine. To help HOPE support displaced staff members and assist Ukrainian entrepreneurs and farmers, make a gift to the HOPE Ukraine assistance fund.