Honestly, I just want to take some time today to ask you to pray ardently for a solution to the situation in Ukraine. For those of you who don’t know, one of my daughters spend about 8 of the last 12 years in that country.
I am not foolish enough to think I understand this whole situation. I don’t. But I have been reading info from people I know directly or indirectly in that country and am learning from them!
I also know that there are many believers, as well as sisters and brothers of the human race, who are counting on help from the outside world.
They want to be free of the dominance of Russia as they have been for 20 years. They also want to be free of corrupt government. This one has been particularly corrupt! The leaders of this government have been lining their pockets with money that wasn’t theirs. . .lots of it!
The most recent infraction was that it promised to become more closely allied to the European Union by having their money become a Euro and when the final papers needed to be signed, the Prime Minister reniged and took a huge amount of money from Putin to allign with Russia. That’s how this demonstration started 3+ months ago.
Do you know about the recent church history of Ukraine?
About 20 years years ago, CoMission (a ministry of Campus Crusade, now Cru) went into that country at the invitation of the public schools, to teach ethics in the schools. The country had just become independent of Russia and the USSR. They knew nothing about the Bible, GOD, or what GOD’s Word taught. CoMission was given free reign!
A curriculum was written, public school teachers were taught by volunteers who went there for short terms and taught teachers how to teach it…with interpreters. You may have been one of those people.
As a result, many teachers, interpreters and children and families received Christ. The ground was unusually soft compared to so much of Europe where missionaries often describe planting the seed of the gospel as being like digging in cement.
Ukraine was different. Bible studies would be announced and people would come to attend. Hearts were tender and open to the gospel. With relative prosperity in the country (compared to 20 years ago), this is less true now, but this is still a place where there are many believers.
Another help was when mission agencies started going into the country, they decided that for the first 10 years, they would take different parts of the country/ different parts of major cities. That way, they wouldn’t be competing with each other! How’s that for a novel idea?
That also maximized their effectiveness when it came to church planting. Churches were planted and the gospel was able to be spread more effectively without people being confused by the various denominational distinctives being a factor…and causing division in the early years. After 10 years, the limits were removed. But think how much better resources were able to be managed.
This uprising has not been like many we have seen in the news.
It has been orderly.
There has been no looting.
They have provided security and protected buildings.
They are trying to stand against injustice.
So it isn’t surprising that alongside the platform at Maidan, the center of the protest area where many have been protesting for the last 3+ months, there has also been a tent where people have been praying regularly!
No, it hasn’t been in our news, but it has been a big part of the process. Where many churches have come to bring food and blankets and more prayer support. Are all the protestors christians? No, I’m sure not. I don’t mean to infer that this is in any way a “christian” uprising. But its roots are in fighting injustice. That is a Biblical reason to stand up against the status quo. cf. Micah 6:8.
But these protestors are not people who tear up buildings and ruin property! They have made a point of protecting the buildings, of creating order where they go, of making sure they protect the places they allow people to see (i.e. the prime minister’s mansion where nearly 10,000 people were allowed to see the posh lifestyle he had been leading off their backs!) These people are not rabble rousers who are trying to create chaos. They are trying to get justice from their government and from the world. . .so they can live normal everyday lives of freedom and order in specific areas that have been listed.
They also want the governments (at least the US and Europe, maybe more) to protect them as promised during the Clinton administration. That was when they gave up their nuclear weapons and these governments promised to protect them if they were invaded by Russia. They are in a very vulnerable position at this point.
Things change in Ukraine from one day to the next. For now, we must pray for GOD to intervene there for these people. We don’t have a good history of helping other nations in recent years…especially when it costs us.
Yes, our military has put their lives on the line for sure…but we, as a nation, don’t like to do it for very long. . . especially if it affects our everyday lives. Americans don’t do wars well, apart from watching them on TV. We just don’t.
Our natural tendency is not to want to start doing it now. Of course, I’m not saying we are going to, but putting out mealy-mouthed statements to a man like Putin just makes us look weak. He laughs. We aren’t weak. We have been known to be a country that stands up for the weak and helpless. That has been a strength of ours. We don’t have to go to war but we do need to stand tough against a nation that is invading another.
And we do need to follow through with our word. We need to live up to treaties we have signed with other nations! That wasn’t the case in our recent wars in the Middle East. We didn’t have treaties with them that we would protect them. Our ties to Ukraine are closer. . .and more unnerving at this point!
So it will take wisdom and courage on the part of many, to find a solution for Ukraine. Especially, it will take courage for the Ukrainian people to find one as they sit, butted up next to Russia.
Pray for the country of Ukraine and the people of Ukraine. Especially pray for the Christians there. They need wisdom and help. They especially need our prayer!
When I pray for them, I think of David and Goliath. It looked like David didn’t have a chance next to a giant like Goliath. But he was fighting for the honor of GOD and His glory.
When GOD is for you and your cause, amazing things can happen!
Can we pray to that end for Ukraine?
They are as vulnerable as David was, standing before Goliath.
We can pray that He will deliver this nation for the sake of His people there. I don’t know how He would do it. Only that He can.
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/douglas.shepherd.90/posts/10152235949178433?stream_ref=10
I will add other links as I get them.