We stand with Ukraine
It is the third night of Russian invasion in Ukraine. Kyiv is under siege. It's 3 AM and messenger chat that connects all of our missionary friends in Ukraine is as alive as ever. Those who are not on military duty are on prayer duty! God deliver us!
From the morning after the first attack on Ukraine we have been involved in coordinating ways to assist 120 Ukrainian missionaries and their families to navigate the crisis. I’m so grateful I can do something! These are friends I grew up with at Christian conferences, these are passionate evangelists and disciplers who organized and held a conference attended by 400 students just two weeks before the invasion, these are men and women David taught the Bible on various occasions, these are sisters who I study Colossians with.
Frist day after invasion began – we spent hours of texting, searching, asking about wellbeing, location, plans to get on the road, navigating pain and disbelief about the scale of the invasion, communicating that we are here to help, to lift them up, to pray. General direction in Ukraine – move west, move away from the cities, but traffic, physical disability kept some in place. Lena texted from Kiev, “we tried to leave. It’s impossible because of traffic. We are back in the apartment, with some students”. Erna wrote from Charkiv, a major city 20 miles away from the eastern battle line, “We are leaving now, “Where is Yana”, I asked. “She took a taxi”, Erna answered. “Where?”, “Anywhere, away from the city”. Yana arrived in a town in Northern Ukraine after a day of travel. Erna is still on the road, 2 days later.
After 2nd night of bombing in Kiev more friends moved west. Marshal law was announced. Now no men can accompany their families across the border. Time for very hard personal decisions. Pray for the fathers and husbands, brothers – the defenders; pray for the children and wives, pray for the expectant mothers and for friends who chose to stay in hot spots to minister!
My dear longtime friend Oksana who is staying just outside of Kiev wrote me,
”I can’t leave. There is so much work to be done. I’m staying to serve with my church”.
The nights are brutal: bombings, artillery fire, tanks rolling. Many are spending tonight in bomb shelters, metro tunnels, asking for prayer when shelling begins. It’s winter in Ukraine. It’s 33F. The suffering one godless man is causing is infuriating!
Bordering Ukraine Slovakia, Hungary (we coordinate receiving our friends here), Poland, Romania and Moldova mobilized and ready to receive and take care of our missionary friends and any refugees. Friends from our ministry office in Moldova told us this morning that their office is full of refugees from Ukraine and the flow of people doesn’t end. Churches are mobilized and networking with each other, countries dropped any restrictions to enter. We, here in Hungary, are preparing to offer any help with transportation from the border, housing and with other material needs they encounter.
Pray for lives to be spared tonight. Pray for the end of this senseless war. Pray for God to turn the circumstances to restore peace, pray for supernatural comfort only our compassionate God could provide! Pray for us to be good helpers to our suffering friends!