Dear Friends: Today is my first day as the Executive Director of the Sarver Corporation Charitable Foundation. My role is to create, collaborate and find ways to "give back" as the ministry arm of the Sarver Corporation. I am so very excited to pursue my Underground Angel ministry work along with my role at Sarver Corp. We will be highlighting and supporting ministries that serve those in need and shine a light in our country and world. Today, our spotlight in on the people of Ukraine.
The last six days have been very intense as millions of us around the world have our eyes glued to the horrors that is the assault of Russia on the devastated State of Ukraine. It is amazing to me that they are still standing in spite of a 40 mile long Russian convoy that is still creeping it's way to Kiev. I am not sure about you, but it seems like it has taken hours upon hours for them to make this 90 mile trek. I do not say this lightly because I recognize the sacrifice and intense beating and suffering these people have experienced over the last 6 days. Yet, one beautiful thing that seems to rise from the ashes is the fervent, devoted resolve of these afflicted Ukrainians. They are fighting for their very existence. The courage of President Zelensky and his cabinet has inspired thousand upon thousands of Ukrainians to stand and fight for their freedom and halt the never--ending brutal pounding of the Russian slaughter.
Another positive outcome is the united front of the West - the European Union and the West including the US against Russian aggression. Oh, that this unity would continue! It seems our human nature cannot truly appreciate the amazing influence that such unity achieves. Instead, we are tempted to assign blame and insults to political opponents. It is a beautiful blessing to live in a country where we have freedom of speech! This is truly what the Ukrainians are devoting heart and soul to preserve! Surely, this is a significant virtue that our politicians and leaders should seek to appreciate rather than flagrantly use without recognizing the blessing and value of our gifts.
Another hopeful insight is that our world is truly recognizing evil for what it is. Over the past 40 years we have basically lived by the motto, "Live and let live!" We have often winked at evil and given it a passive distinction or nod of approval. The photos and videos of brutality in the Russian invasion has been a slap of freezing water in the face- a wake up call to pure evil.
The democracy in a republic such as Ukraine and the United States is a blessed existence in this world. However, with the blessing also comes a possibility of a negative outcome or curse. The curse is taking our freedom for granted. But, another obvious negative outcome in this way of life is unfortunately citizens begin to develop attitudes of entitlement and dependency on their government. We have been reminded by the Ukrainians that the success of a democracy requires it's citizens to defend, sacrifice and serve in order to keep their way of life. These were the attitudes and values that our founding fathers and mothers upheld in the creation of our United States of America.
A 2018 survey conducted by the Razumkov Centre found that 71.7% of the population in Ukraine declared themselves Christian believers according to Wikipedia. Most of these are Catholic with a minority of Protestant Christians and Jews. They are holding strongly to their faith and this devotion! It is inspirational as the evil bombarding Russian invasion continues nonstop with massive destruction of life and property.
As Christians we are called to be "light and life" in a world that is full of evil! The life and teachings of Jesus are simply counter cultural. "We are to bless our enemies and curse not." This shift in thinking is very difficult to understand when we the world teaches the philosophy of crushing our enemies. "The Bible does not clearly answer questions of war and peace but gives Christians guidelines on how to work for peace and justice."1) https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zbygjxs/revision/4
St Augustine believed that the only just reason to go to war was the desire for peace. We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace. If any war would be considered a "just war," certainly the Ukrainians fall into this category. In spite of all this, Christians are promised throughout the Old Testament and New Testament prophesies that war will one day come to an end as well as the evil behind them. Until that time, we will be afflicted with wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24; 6,7).
Yet, we are longing and waiting for that day when " He (Our Lord) makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow, shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire" (Psalm 46:9). Until that time Christians must pray for our sisters and brothers in Ukraine, and we must do whatever we can to help them. Here are two organizations that are actively involved in giving support to Ukraine. Check these out: abundanceinternational.org - Mark Davis is the voice for this work with orphans, and the second organization is the Slavic Gospel Association, https://(www.sga.org) providing food and needed supplies for the war torn citizens of Ukraine. Please do something, whatever you can to help even if it seems very small. Little is much when God is in it!
Please continue to follow our blogs daily and leave comments for discussion. Check out the work of Sarver Corp online, sarvercorp.com. We are opening an office in Pratt, KS soon. If you know of anyone who can qualify for a free phone and service, please send them my direction through our Kansas outreach, Kansas Wireless. There are many ways to qualify from those who are veterans, on disability, to those on SNAP, Medicaid and Medicare. Also, I would love for you to subscribe to my Underground YouTube channel and follow my videos that highlight the work of a treasured 19th century abolitionist, Laura Smith Haviland and the 7 steps of Good Trouble that I believe Christians can benefit from today!
Blessings! Until tomorrow....Pray for Ukraine!!