Escaping a War Zone
Leah Harper had dreamed of serving as a missionary since she was a kid. When she graduated from Cedarville in 2020 and then from The Ohio State University in 2021 with a master’s degree, she combined that long-held desire with her new degrees and moved to Romania to serve as a social worker.
She could not have expected that she would find herself helping refugees fleeing a war in a neighboring country. But she counts it all joy as she serves people whose lives have been devastated and changed forever.
Leah serves with charities that care for vulnerable populations in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her normal role of helping orphans and young adults who aged out of the orphanage suddenly pivoted in late February when Russian troops crossed the border with Ukraine. More than 3 million Ukrainian people have fled their home country since the beginning of the war.
Go here to support the work that Leah is doing to help refugees: worldmethodist.org/donate/Ukraine.
Leah is serving refugees at a community center, where they are being housed and fed without cost. Some of the Ukrainians are using the community center as temporarily shelter on their way to family and friends, while others are depending on the center for connections to a host family or an apartment.
While she is helping with meals, dishes, and keeping rooms clean, Leah is also using her social work skills to listen well to people who are struggling to make sense of all that’s happened in just a few short weeks.
“Most of these refugees are scared, hoping for this conflict to end soon, but scared of what they will go back to if they return to their homes,” Leah shared with Cedarville public relations. “These people are not directly involved in this conflict apart from where they live, yet their lives have been uprooted or ended.”
Leah’s efforts to help Ukrainian refugees was featured by Cedarville PR shortly after the war began.
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