News from our Partners in Poland

Kathy Kidd   -  

The Poland Ministry has been receiving periodic reports on the Ukrainian refugee situation from Dr. Wojciech Szczerba, the rector of EST. In July, Wojciech and his family, Magda, Tosia, and Tony visited Raleigh and gave a presentation about the Ukrainian refugee situation in Poland and the work that faculty, staff, and students of the seminary have been doing. 

All members of the faculty and staff of EST have been involved in working with the refugees. In addition to counseling and language tutoring, they have assisted with obtaining work permits, housing, and other basic needs. The seminary has partnered with many Christian humanitarian agencies to assist with the resettlement. The absorption of 3.2 million refugees into Polish communities throughout Poland is truly a miracle and has been done without placing people into camps. See the complete Word article from Fall 2022 which contains Wojciech’s latest update.

As a congregation we have sent over $110,000 to EST to assist with refugee efforts. All of this humanitarian work has been done in addition to their usual teaching and community activities at the seminary. They are an educational institution guiding people to reach their intellectual, theological and spiritual potential. For many years, EST has organized a Festival of Protestant Culture and promoted ecumenical dialogue and cooperation within their city. They also prepare seminarians to serve local churches, and through their Academy of the Third Age help people explore spiritual and theological questions. Contributions for work with Ukrainians have been generous, but the seminary continues to incur operating expenses. WMPC annually contributes $15,000 to the seminary budget, and additional gifts made through Christmas Share are designated for scholarships.

EST has been asked to co-organize a conference in Ukraine with several Ukrainian theological schools. The conference will deal with the issue of nationality and ethnicity in the context of war. It will involve most of the theological institutions in Ukraine and Wojciech Szczerba will serve as one of the leaders of the organizational committee. The seminary may also play an important role in integrating theological education in Ukraine, which remains a necessity, even or perhaps especially, in a time of war. Already now, their brothers and sisters from Ukraine can use their offices, website, share their experience with their students, and are taught by EST teachers. Contributions to help the seminary with its ongoing daily operations can be made through the church (designate for Poland Seminary).