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Prayers & Hope for Ukraine

Unbelievable, that the Russian invasion against Ukraine has been blasting and destroying Ukraine for almost 45 days. It is very difficult to see all of these images in the media. But, yesterday I believe that the war once again went to a new low. When a missile blasted a train station in Kramatorsk with the words "for the children" sprawled on it's side. In this horrible atrocity 52 people died at a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine. There appears to be a history of sending messages via bombs or missiles dating back to WW2. But? What is the reason for this bombastic war crime? Russia first admitted the act, then denied the act. Of course, lies are par for the course for Vladimir Putin and his band of genocidal actors. The missile apparently was sent out of revenge for the past conflict between Ukraine and the Donbass area. WOW! Attacks on hospitals, maternity wards, theaters, civilian homes and invasion of Russian soldiers into the homes of Ukrainians seem to be a never ending bombardment. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 3,838 civilian casualties in the country: 1,611 killed and 2,227 injured. This included:

  • a total of 1,611 killed (409 men, 240 women, 25 girls, and 43 boys, as well as 63 children and 831 adults whose sex is yet unknown)

  • a total of 2,227 injured (261 men, 196 women, 45 girls, and 42 boys, as well as 104 children and 1,579 adults whose sex is yet unknown)

I do not know about you, but I cannot even fathom how we would feel if this were happening in the United States of America! I know we often try to avoid these horrible images and even the talk about the war simply because it is devastating! The communities of Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, and Borodyanka near the capitol of Kiev were completely destroyed and many, many citizens were found dead and brutally injured! Don't forget the poor souls of Mariopol who are being starved to death and humanitarian efforts such as the Red Cross and others are not able to even get in to help them! There is a time when it is simply too difficult to even fathom the evil that could be the root of such genocide!

But, we must not turn our heads away from these people's horrific suffering! As Christians we are called to care for the least of these (Matthew 25:40, 45). Out of the evil the light shines the brightest in the darkness! Out of the shadows of history God can work and shine through the midst of chaos. (Thanks to Michael Davis, my Church of God colleague, for sharing this significant concept with me!)

As we remember this coming week, Jesus' walk to the cross, it comforts my heart and soul to know that he suffered the atrocities and humiliation at the hand of other human beings. He did this so that he could stand with us as we suffer on planet earth! It is so difficult for me to imagine how one man can be so evil and vile as to inflict such torture and death on innocent human beings simply because he wants to be in control of their land! Then I am reminded of this one man, Jesus, who willingly suffered and died a violent death so that He could provide hope and a promise land to all who receive him as their Lord and Savior. It is comforting to know that unbridled greed is overcome by the power of unconditional love! That is the celebration of the Resurrection! Yet, as long as we live on this earth we must lift up those who are suffering and do all we can to support them in their time of distress! "The King will replay, 'Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

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