Independence Day

Today is Independence Day in Ukraine.  23 years ago today Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union.  There are many celebrations planned around the nation and especially in Kyiv.  There are also many terrorists attempting to disrupt things.  Already the security services have disrupted a couple of groups that were planning terrorist acts in Kyiv and the surrounding area.

Please pray for Ukraine today.

  • Pray that the celebrations are not disrupted by terror attacks.
  • Pray that Russia would stop supporting these terrorists and those fighting in eastern Ukraine.
  • Pray that the global community would stand up to Putin’s bullying.
  • Pray that the church in Ukraine would proclaim peace and reconciliation by the blood of Christ.
  • Pray that the church in Ukraine would live out peace and reconciliation while also promoting truth and justice.
  • Pray that we would be wise in our interactions and activities so that we would be agents of health and healing to the churches.
  • Pray for the refugees (UN says more than 350,000), especially children, who are living in fear and uncertainty.
  • Pray for those who have not been able to leave the conflict zones around the cities of Luhansk (p. 450,000) and Donetsk (p. 1,000,000), especially the elderly and the sick.
  • Pray for the families of Ukraine’s heroes who are mourning their loved ones, who gave their lives fighting once again for Ukraine’s independence, and for Ukraine’s transformation from a criminal state to a free, democratic state.

Prayer Update

After a couple of requests this week we realized that it was past time for another update. So much has happened and is happening that it is hard to get our heads around everything. Let me first say that we continue to be safe and far away from the conflict. Life continues as “normal” for us. We moved into a new rental home at the beginning of July (you can take a virtual tour on Sarah’s blog, “Sarah’s Snippets “. This has consumed much of our time and energy, but we are beginning to see “light at the end of the tunnel”. Tonight we are having about a dozen kids (missionary kids and embassy kids) over for a Star Wars movie marathon. Tonight and tomorrow morning we’ll watch all six films (in the order they were released, of course :)). Next Friday we are hosting my colleagues and their families for a good old American cookout. Life goes on.

In the midst of that we were shocked, abhorred, deeply saddened – what other words can I use – at the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 by the Russian insurgents fighting against Ukraine in the East. We’ve watched coverage on TV and online in shock and disbelief. We’ve been angered by the blatant lies, disrespect for human life and for the victims of this senseless tragedy, and by the unbelievably weak response of the international community to this atrocity and war crime committed by the lawless “Donetsk Peoples’ Republic” and their patron, Vladimir Putin. The best word I’ve seen used to describe the West’s response is “pusillanious” (had to look that one up!).

While the shooting down of flight MH17 has taken over the headlines, the fighting has not let up in the East. Key prayer points:

1. for the Evangelical churches in the conflict zone. A pastor, his two adult sons and a deacon from one church were brutally tortured and murdered by the Russian insurgents. Part of the philosophy that drives Putin is a belief in the purity of Russian Orthodoxy. This leads him to promote the persecution of Protestants in the region as they are seen as “Western” by default. Pray for the church to have wisdom and strength to persevere during this time of terror.

2. for the refugees. The UN has counted around 110,000 refugees at the current time. The number continues to grow. But getting a sense of the exact need is very difficult. Many have fled the conflict zone to relatives in Ukraine or Russia. There are around 40,000 or so refugees from the Crimea and the eastern regions that are living in temporary facilities who need help. Our ministry partners, Russian Ministries and the Association for Spiritual Renewal, are addressing the needs of refugees and also the needs of people who have been recently liberated by Ukrainian forces. There are many people who have been left with nothing and are struggling to survive. We are working now with our partners to begin to address these needs. Hopefully we will have more to share with you about this soon.

3. for the Ukrainian government. Yesterday the ruling coalition in the Ukrainian parliament (Rada) collapsed. This has mixed blessings – it forces early elections which was something Ukrainians want. But it also adds some instability on top of all of the other problems – military conflict, plane crash, brink of economic collapse. Ukraine needs our prayers and the support of the global community!

4. for global leaders to stand up to Putin and to put an end to his reign of terror in Ukraine. For anyone who wants to understand this better I would recommend reading the following article: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/christophermajka/2014/07/blundering-ukraine-putins-strategic-debacle

Thank you for your care and concern for us and for Ukraine. We need your prayers and so does this great nation.

Moving

We are in the process of moving a short distance away into another house.  When we arrived in Kyiv last summer, we agreed to stay in a missionary family’s home while they were in the States for a year.   The house was an answer to prayer because George did not have to find a place for us to live in a short period of time.  It provided us with lots of bedrooms and a spacious yard.

We have found another house about two miles away that should meet the needs of our family well.   Move-in day is July 1!

With our new website format, we plan to give more frequent updates.  Check back or subscribe to follow along!

For God. With You. In Ukraine