Ukraine - "War and Peace"
Hot topic: Weak point of Europe, painful, frightening to receive the news. It makes us nervous when we hear about fights, wars, tragedies, disasters. And we do, all the time, when we read or hear the world's news.
Anna Doroshenko, the new president of the Ukraine Women's Department, and the team bravely organized a conference for women from all around Ukraine. The topic was Psalm 45:13 "All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold." This was to signify the inner beauty of the ladies, of Christian women.
For the conference a good number, 450 women gathered together from all the regions of Ukraine, except the two "hard regions" Donetsk and Luhansk. Even a lady was there from Crimea. I was searching on her face for the signs of sadness, bitterness, but I saw hope, faith and love. She told her story that the life is very hard there, she has not had any pension since last September, but she and the others have learned how to live and experience the answers for their prayers, they experience how the Lord provides their needs in these difficult months. She told that 'the Lord allowed the things to happen, and to experience all the past events, but we see His presence all around'.
There was another lady from the neighboring region; she shared in her testimony about their mission among the wounded soldiers.
I had an option to talk to some young men, too, who strengthen the same testimony of the kind of experiences they got through their mission to the soldiers in the field. How openly they listen to the words of God, accepting the New Testament provided to them, as much as possible. When they meet the soldiers, they give the needed materials and get the list of requirements for the next visit.
The walk through the main square in Kiev is a shocking experience, at least it was for me. Still today they have the lights, candles, flowers, transparent with all the memories from the day when the first shots were fired on behalf of the government of that time. Mostly students and young people waited and protested silently, without any armor. Lots of them died.
But another young fellow told that all the others were strengthened that the happenings woke them up. They began to pray for their country, and for the people all around. They re-evaluated the meaning of the practical theology, what is the Christian life in reality, what is the meaning of the charity work, and sharing the love of the living God?
As Baptist believers they didn't take part in the fighting but over the heads of the younger men hangs the possibility of the calling-up to the army. What they try to focus on is to do their ministry in the best way, in a wider meaning for the neighbors, or as soldiers, or as refugees and in any other opportunities as presented.
At the church the congregation says several times loudly with enthusiasm, standing up, three times 'Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!'
They have a song as a prayer for Ukraine, which is so moving to listen to and sing together with them in the days like now.
Hope, faith and trust in the resurrection of Christ - with these words I may summarize the experiences of these days. Instead of despair, hope; instead of fear, joy; instead of bitterness, quick to act in love. The news reports don’t tell of these things, but we need to know and follow the example of our brothers and sisters, to follow their confidence in the presence and strength of the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.
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