Janice Byerly

 

Update for Janice

March 2022

Dear Friends and Family,

Greetings from Budapest where we are adjusting to a new normal. Masks in restaurants, shops, and transportation are now a thing of the past as we now face refugees, refugees, and more refugees. If there was ever a time for compassion ministry, it is most definitely now.

January was busy reconnecting with teammates after the holidays and setting up a schedule for visiting bases this year. February brought a group of young students from several countries eager to join YWAM through our DTS training school which required all the Budapest team, including myself, to launch. I had planned to begin visiting bases in Central and Europe in March. And then the war broke out in Ukraine.

Since Hungary borders Ukraine, I imagined we would have a few refugees and thought I would stick around to see if the few traveling from any of our 5 YWAM bases in Ukraine would need to chat and debrief over the stress of needing to temporarily move until things calmed down a bit back in Ukraine. I could never have imagined the tidal wave of thousands of refugees spilling into Hungary. People broken, in shock, and at a complete loss as to what to do next or where to go. Husbands had always decided these things. But husbands and sons over 17 were not allowed to leave the country and must stay to fight. Some people lost everything and came only with the clothes they were wearing. Others came with pets or small bags with whatever they managed to grab before being ushered out amidst sirens, shelling and bombs dropping on the homes they left.

Less than half of our Ukraine YWAM team members came out of the country while the rest stayed to help the elderly, the needy and to drive people to the borders or safer areas in Western Ukraine. And the YWAM workers who have left Ukraine are busy at the Polish, Hungarian and Romanian borders

helping with the swarms of people that they came to love and serve as they tried to get into safer countries.

It started with one family from our YWAM Kyiv base, but within hours we were flooded. Our group chat from Budapest now sent messages every few minutes…We need someone to pick up diapers…I have a mother with four children, where can we put them…I have 6 Nigerian students from Kharkiv – can we put them in a hostel? Who can pick up two single women from the train station at Keleti…? And it seems we have been running around from early morning until late at night every day since. And they are still coming.

For those of you that send financial support, please know that you have bought food, shampoo, toothbrushes, and the very basics these past few weeks to many who have nothing, including money. And those of you who support us with prayer, please do not stop! We are not skilled for working with such a volume of traumatized people, but God has been comforting and caring for so many through our team, the churches, and through many who have opened their homes to take in people. Our teams in most of Europe are in some way working with and helping the refugees and our normal jobs with YWAM are put on hold. God has reassigned us to be His hands and feet and to love and care for these people who have suffered so much. Some people have spent days walking to the border only to find day-long lines of people trying to get in. Many have not eaten in days. Even as I write this, I am overwhelmed by their courage as well as their needs.

I am not sure how long we will continue to do what we are doing, but our mobile Member Care team will soon begin to minister to those who have been making trips into Ukraine or working at the borders to give them breaks and space to process their experiences so that burn out does not set in. It has been constant mental strain with little time to come to terms with the enormity of the situation.

Thank you for letting me share some of the craziness over here. And thank you for your prayers, your support, and your notes of care and encouragement! We hear stories daily of God’s faithfulness and work in this very difficult time in Ukraine. For every painful story, I have three amazing God- stories which I look forward to sharing with you at some point! Thank you again for partnering with me!!

Much love and blessing to you all,

Janice

Support: ARM Ministries,

PO Box 446

Dundee, OR 97115 www.armmin.org/donation