Local missionaries still seek help in aid for Ukraine

Benach family & JEM Ministries continue humanitarian efforts despite further Russian escalations

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Russian escalation in Ukraine isn’t just something that’s worried all of Europe or the United States government.

There are people right here in the Tennessee Valley and over the border in North Georgia that are taking up the effort to help rebuild the embattled country.

And one local family needs your help to do it.

The Benach family runs J-E-M Ministries – a group with ties to Ukraine that is helping with aid during the Russian escalation.

That aid went a long way in the month that Russia invaded Ukraine, but the work isn’t stopping any time soon.

The destruction and consequences of the Russian escalation is everywhere.

Kyiv.

Kharkov.

The latest is in Bucha, where the bodies of civilians were taken out one-by-one from buildings.

It’s all hit the Benach family from Ringgold very hard. Victoria is from just outside Kyiv, and her husband worked in the country for over thirty years. All of it tears at their heart and their love for the country.

Henry Benach, the founder and director of JEM Ministries, says, “The first place they bombed was in this city called Kharkov. It was right there in a large square, the largest square in Europe, and they bombed the exact place that I was standing on 30 years ago. Now, the city of Mariupol, I had two large evangelistic meetings in Mariupol. Both of them were in the drama theater in Mariupol. Now, they’ve totally destroyed it. Three thousand people were in the bomb shelters, and they killed thousands… hundreds of people inside that city.”

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy toured the scene in Bucha this morning. What happened made Henry Benach align with Zelenskyy in wanting more from world leaders.

“I agree with (what President) Vladimir Zelenskyy said, that if the United Nations isn’t going to do something, they should just dissolve. If NATO isn’t going to step up a little bit further and give more aid, they need to dissolve because here is a threat to democracy around the world. These things you see, these people killed, it just scares me that there’s going to be even greater horrors to be seen.”

The Benachs were set to return to Ukraine this week, but the escalation put their travel plans in jeopardy. But it isn’t stopping them from trying to help. The money J-E-M Ministries received so far has already helped several people in the embattled country.

Henry’s wife, Victoria, is thankful that people feel strongly enough about what JEM is doing that they want to help in whatever way they can. “I appreciate every person who expressed their sympathy or empathy, saying, ‘Hey…I’m with you. I’m standing with Ukraine. I’m praying for Ukraine. And people texting us, calling us, and just saying ‘We’re standing with you. We appreciate what you do.” And we appreciate their support. Because of that support, we’re able to do more.”

The Benachs plan more humanitarian trips to Ukraine or Poland along the border. If you want to help their efforts, head to their website, https://jem-missions.com/donate.

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