27 September, 2023

‘How Can We Help?’ The Calling of TCM

by | 18 March, 2022 | 0 comments


By Tony Twist

Going as far back as 1961—very early in its existence—TCM has been asking, “How can we help?”

It asked that question when Christians were imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain. And TCM responded.

It asked that question in 1989 when the Iron Curtain imploded and leaders from the former Soviet Union requested Christian ministry training. And TCM responded.

And now, in response to Russia’s very recent invasion of Ukraine, TCM International Institute has again asked that question, and based on feedback, it is responding.


In responding to those earlier crises, TCM laid much of the groundwork for successfully reacting to this unprovoked war in Ukraine. Through the years, asking “How can we help?” has led to the development of the Training Christians for Ministry International Institute for accessible, affordable, accredited, practical ministry leadership training. Today, the TCM International Institute has 2,580 students enrolled from 47 countries, under the direction of our regional representatives at 26 mentoring centers globally.

Many of those students have trained at Haus Edelweiss in Heiligenkreuz, Austria.

On Feb. 22, 2022, TCMII held a providential meeting at Haus Edelweiss—a meeting that was planned two years in advance—where leadership asked TCM regional representatives that same time-tested question: “How can we help?”

War in Ukraine was just starting. From past history, they knew what was coming. An appropriate response was formulated. Through collaboration, the appropriate acrostic, HELP, was developed:

The needs will be both short-term and long-term. There are four primary ways TCM is positioned to help: Humanitarian support, Evangelism and disciple-making training, Logistics networking, and PrayerFast mobilization.

We prayed. Then we established an ongoing Ukrainian response team comprised of representatives from the countries most impacted by this war. Some in attendance immediately phoned colleagues and contacted people back home and received commitments to participate. Most knew of refugees who already had crossed borders.


TCM has approximately 3,000 students and graduates directly impacted by this war. Our regional representatives and partners in Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Georgia, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Austria have established Ukrainian church and organizational aid stations to provide food, water, clothing, medicines, beds, etc.

In addition to prayer, we will share the love of Jesus with them.

Our colleagues will also work with the refugees to find them more permanent housing and church connections. This will be coordinated with various country relief programs that have been established for potentially as many as 5 million people long-term. 

Starting March 1, Haus Edelweiss joined our church leaders in the various countries by welcoming 24 refugees. Since then, there’s been a steady stream of people in need. Hosting refugees at Haus Edelweiss isn’t new—it has occasionally occurred through the years as needs have arisen. Our students and graduates have been impacted by this war, so we anticipate this ongoing service to continue.

In addition to hosting refugees at Haus Edelweiss, hundreds of TCM-equipped ministers are at Ukrainian borders greeting and assisting Ukrainians with safe passage, food, shelter, medicine, transportation, and the love of Jesus. The task is huge, as nearly 3 million refugees have already sought help. But we continue to ask them, “How can we help?”

Each time we ask them, we also ask our heavenly Father, “Please help us help them!”

Gifts for the Ukraine Relief Fund may be made online at www.tcmi.org/give. Use the dropdown arrow for designating your gift to Ukraine Relief. Gifts may also be mailed to TCM International Institute, P.O. Box 24560, Indianapolis, IN 46224-0560. For additional information, contact David Wright at [email protected], (317) 299-0333, or (317) 409-1712.

Tony Twist serves as president and CEO of TCM International Institute, Heiligenkreuz, Austria.



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