Keys for Kids and Unlocked devotionals to help Ukrainian refugee youth
Kraków, Poland (K4K)—There’s nothing more frustrating than having a plan and not being able to execute it.
In the winter of 2021, Keys for Kids Ministries entered into a partnership with Send International to begin translating Keys for Kids (our children’s devotional) and Unlocked (our teen devotional) into the Russian and Ukrainian languages. Send International had been looking for quality resources to help young people grow in their walks with the Lord.
We spent time fundraising, planning for the rollout, and praying God would begin using these tools to help Christian families establish habits of being in the Word with their kids. The translation started with no issues. The first two books were printed, then COVID-19 lockdowns closed churches and canceled youth leader conferences. The devotions sat in storage, and our key partners came back to the United States for a year-long home assignment.
We thought perhaps that our plan wasn’t God’s plan. Why would He allow us to raise money and find partners only to close it down just as soon as it was about to get started?
Then on February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, creating a flow of Russian and Ukrainian speaking refugees coming out of Ukraine and into Poland and the surrounding countries. Kids, teens, and families were dealing with anger, fear, anxiety, depression, and other feelings that accompany war. Christian leaders in the area knew they needed to address these issues from a biblical perspective. But how? That’s when they remembered the Keys for Kids and Unlocked devotionals in storage.
Christians quickly distributed the materials that had already been translated and printed. Then they realized they needed more and requested 200,000 more copies. We asked our partners to divert funds from future Russian and Ukrainian translation efforts to printing more copies and then began a fundraising campaign. People responded with huge gifts of support. We sought out a partnership with Mission Eurasia. They connected us with a printer in the region, and the printing began.
As we waited, we were again frustrated. Much of the humanitarian work was being completed without our materials. Opportunities were diminishing as refugees left Poland for other nations. Then finally the devotionals arrived in Kraków, Poland, on June 22, 2022. While refugee relief opportunities continue, the biggest need is for summer camp. Yes, they’re having summer camp for kids and teens in the region to bring a little normalcy to their lives. Unfortunately, many summer camps were lacking materials.
God saw fit to delay the printing and delivery so we could provide resources to kids at summer camp. Now, they’re finally being distributed and used by kids and teens.
Inna with Mission Eurasia told us, “The kids love them! We are immensely grateful for your partnership and the opportunity for kids to hear the gospel through these stories.”
She added, “I was thrilled to learn they are in Ukrainian now! But even before they were translated, I got hold of one of them and used it for teaching English to one of my intermediate students. It was wonderful to have simple yet powerful stories in English, learn new words and phrases, yet also discuss the truths and learn about God. I know these stories will impact our children, and I thank you for making them available to them.”
Keys for Kids Ministries hopes to send our devotionals to Russian and Ukrainian speaking refugees in Germany, Latvia, Moldova, Belarus, Canada, the United States and anywhere else Ukrainian refugees need them.
Judy is a Keys for Kids supporter. “I have a refugee family with a seven-year-old son living just a couple of houses away. Is there any way I could get a copy for him? I'm sure it would be such a comfort to have something familiar, being in a foreign place.” We want to provide these to as many families as possible. If you have a similar need, please contact us.
While the money has been raised for this emergency printing project, we need to replace the funding for the remaining ten months of devotionals that still need to be translated. You can help with your best gift at keysforkids.org/ukraine.