In the Netherlands and Flanders, the BSNF provides New Testaments, Gospels according to John, reading plans and children’s Bible stories in Ukrainian and Russian. For children, a number of programs from the Sunday School method Bible Basics have also been translated into Ukrainian. With these programs, churches have materials when Ukrainian refugees visit church services. And on the Bible platform debijbel.nl, the Bible is available in Ukrainian, so Bible passages can easily be used during church services or in personal contact with Ukrainians.
Distribution of Bibles and children’s Bible stories is partly done in cooperation with two Dutch foundations: stichting Gave and stichting Geloofsinburgering, partly through local churches. These materials can be ordered for free in the BSNF webshop; only postage is charged. The Bible Basics programs can be downloaded on debijbel.nl/bijbelbasics.
Large Demand for Bibles
The millions of refugees are an enormous challenge for the Bible Societies in Poland, Moldova, Hungary and Rumania. There is a large demand for Bibles in Ukrainian and Russian, but these Bible Societies have few means to provide them. That is why the UBS is having additional Bibles printed and distributed through these Bible Societies. That way, each refugee who needs a Bible can have a copy.
The Ukrainian Bible Society
The Ukrainian Bible Society (OBG) is doing what it can to assist compatriots in need. “The demand for Bibles is enormous. Millions of compatriots are on the run and are in despair. We urgently need Bibles”, an OBG spokesperson says. From the threat of war in November onward, the OBG has been handing out Bibles, Bible books and children’s Bibles in orphanages and to the military, among others. As soon as the war started, the OBG could no longer keep up with demand.
Last week, an OBG team visited the liberated cities surrounding Kiev, among them Butcha, Hostomel, Irpin and Borodianka. “It was heartbreaking”, according to the OBG. “People are having to do without gas, water and electricity, and are grateful for the help they are being given. When we say we belong to the church, people ask for a Bible! They know this book can help.”
The Bible Provides Perspective
At the moment, the Ukrainian Bible Society serves to connect different churches, volunteer groups and aid organizations. In the beginning of the war, only one thing was necessary, according to the OBG spokesperson mentioned before, “You look after your family and try to get them to safety. After that, everybody started taking action. I admire the courage of my colleagues working in the east and south of Ukraine.” The need for shelter and comfort, but also for the Bible’s hope and perspective is enormous. It will stay that way, even after the war is over. Because “then the people will need to come to terms with the things that have happened.”