Today’s events in Ukraine are very sad. How much we should pray for peace on the earth.
As we look on we wonder what might happen next and where these things might lead. At such times the words of Isaiah 40 are very encouraging. They describe the greatness of God.
Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.Isaiah 40:15
Nothing is bigger than our God, nothing takes him by surprise and everything that happens is part of his great plan. Later in the chapter he promises…
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.Isaiah 40:31
As we watch these events unfold, we should not forget the church in Ukraine (and indeed in Russia). Christians there are living with these things as a present reality. Below are a few items and articles to help us remember them, pray for them and send aid to them.
Also, whilst such events like today’s focus the mind on a specific location, we should not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world (even here in the UK) who are suffering – whether from war, persecution, disease, disaster, or famine.
Finally, world leaders need much wisdom to deal with these things under a lot of pressure, we should ask God to help them all.
The following message from some missionaries (David and Rhoda) in Lutsk, Ukraine was shared with me this afternoon. I know very little about them or their background, but it gives a glimpse into what they are facing right now.
This is quite possibly our last means of correspondence for some time. War is imminent and the consequences dreadful. A state of emergency has been declared and this will be followed by martial law. Young Ukrainian men from 16 years of age are being called up to serve in the military and Ukrainians are being given the right to carry arms. A major cyberattack is happening just now as we write which has affected Ukrainian banks as well as government websites. Ukrainian citizens are being asked to urgently leave Russia and our local currency is in free fall. Rhoda and I are not leaving – How can we? As an elder in the assembly my responsibility is to shepherd at all times. It would be a terrible testimony to get up and leave the Lutsk believers. We have been preparing for this day. Rhoda and I have bought in generators, fuel, food etc as we would like to turn the Gospel Hall into a place of shelter to accommodate and feed the assembly believers who will face many a hardship. God is about to give us a great opportunity to show our Christian faith practically and reach out into our community with the Gospel. Rhoda and I may have to move out of our apartment as we are close to the Lutsk military airfield and on the 14th floor of our apartment block, we have the central headquarters of the SBO – the Ukrainian secret police. As we close the military jets can be heard overhead and we covet your prayers! We are not any braver than you – but confident we are where God would expect us to be. Daniel 4 v 17.
Ukraine is in a crisis which is changing hour by hour. Only God knows what the situation will be as you read this…But we praise Him that He has given us channels to send help to our Christian brothers and sisters there. For they are in desperate need of food and other basic humanitarian aid, especially the elderly and other very vulnerable believers.
As Russia launches a military assault on Ukraine, our Ukrainian church family asks for prayer. Many Christians have not forgotten the persecution they suffered under the Soviet Union only decades ago, but they are determined to keep sharing the gospel. Please pray for them as this situation unfolds.
[B00003 – 24/02/2022]