We have had our struggles during the past two years, but God continues to be generous in mercy toward us in these days. Our men's and the recent women's retreats have both been amazing blessings! We have a rich life together. As you will read below, we have a chance to share our blessings with our brothers and sisters in another community within Sword of the Spirit (for those who are newer to CCR, Sword of the Spirit is the worldwide community of communities to which we belong.)
In contrast to our life here, the war in the Ukraine has been so difficult to watch from afar and to hear about. I have felt frustrated. This country is 5000 miles east of us and about 300 miles north, which helps me to personalize the situation, but I still feel so helpless.
Recently, there has developed through a community in Poland, a way for us to financially support some of the refugees who have fled out of the Ukraine and into Poland. We have a (SOS) community in southern Poland named City on a Hill. They are located in the city Bielsko-Biala which has a population of about 170,000 people. The community is about 3.5 hours from their eastern border with Ukraine. Two million refugees have flooded into Poland and the City on the Hill is running 10 flats and housing and supporting 70 Ukrainian refugees presently and they are asking for our financial support.
This is one of those situations whereas we live our way of life in CCR faithfully, we see similarities with life in the scriptures, especially in the early Pauline Communities.
Compare what Paul says to the Corinthians: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.....At this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack." 2 Corinthians 8:9, 14-15
The donations collected are being sent on behalf of CCR to a larger Regional Appeal that is being managed by The Sword of the Spirit. The Lord has clearly spoken to all Sword of the Spirit communities that he wants to use our communities as a bulwark. This is a practical way that we in CCR can help support the bulwark that City on the Hill is becoming to the Ukrainian refugees.
Thanks so much for your generosity and your prayers,
Ed Gross, David & Karen Groppel, and the CCR Staff