A church building in Lviv, Ukraine provides ‘refuge from the storm’

May 9, 2022, 2:12 PM | Updated: 6:12 pm
The Lviv meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was transformed into ...
The Lviv meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was transformed into a refugee center.

LVIV, Ukraine — The baptismal font is a shower, the chapel and gym are large bedrooms: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has transformed its church building in Lviv, Ukraine, to become a refugee center.

Two people, Kym Reichart and Raphaela Hasse of Schwabmünchen, Germany, have offered their help, driving and delivering relief supplies to a chapel in Lviv over the past two months.

According to a news release from the church, “When Reichart heard about the need for drivers to transport supplies to Ukraine through a local businessperson, she felt compelled to offer her services. Her father assisted with the Berlin airlift in 1949.”

“Each room of the Church building has been transformed, including the chapel area, to house the refugees,” Reichart said. The release explains that local church leaders and members in Lviv come every day to clean and help. Even the baptismal font has been converted into a shower area with schedules for its use.

A baptismal font in the Lviv meetinghouse used as a shower area. The Lviv meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was transformed into a refugee center. A classroom in the meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The parish hall of the church building, according to Reichart, is a place where people “can draw strength before they continue to the border, as most refugees only stay two or three nights.”

With the contributions of other humanitarian agencies, relief supplies are distribute from the church building to those in need. From there, Reichart said a bus from Poland offers free transportation for any refugees fleeing to Poland. According to the news release, “The bus company tells refugees that if they can make it to Lviv, they can be fed and sheltered in the Church building before traveling to Poland.”

Reichart said she wants others to know what is happening there.

“When we live in safety, I hope we do not get comfortable with our security,” she said. “The need is still there and does not go away in the short term. It is a long haul for so many.”

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A church building in Lviv, Ukraine provides ‘refuge from the storm’