Home | Blogs | dan's blog

Awesome and Tragic

Over 100 days of full-scale war… both awesome and tragic.

God has decreed that Ukraine stand against this evil for over 100 days. Considering the strength behind the evil, that’s pretty impressive. After living for more than 30 years in Ukraine, I have 100’s of friends and acquaintances spread out over the country. Some have lost homes. Some have fled. 10 have picked up weapons to defend us. Some are behind enemy lines. I’m grateful to God, (who has given skill), and to the men, (who are risking their lives), for the 100+ days of holding out against the might of invading Russia. It’s truly awesome.

It has also been awesome because of the effect this has had on our hearts. Formidable fear is something we all dealt with, and many people continue to deal with, (especially those closer to the fighting than we are now). This fear is interesting because it settles over your heart like a wet blanket and doesn’t lift. It isn’t mentally incapacitating, like some fears… but it is immensely sobering. For many of us, the desire to play games, joke, watch movies, or indulge in any form of entertainment was totally in abeyance. (In fact, the thought was repulsive.) Instead, sober-mindedness and God-awareness filled our lives. I must have talked about the Lord to over 100 people who don’t yet know God’s forgiveness in the last 100 days. Just about everyone had very open hearts. This sort of fear is something God uses to bring good into our lives.

And “tragic”? How much evil has been committed by men who have been morally unchained? How much suffering is occurring in the lives of those attacked? It’s way beyond sad. All of us are incapable of perfection and prone to sin. We get that. But deliberate destruction on a terrible scale by the Russians against the soldiers and civilians of Ukraine is beyond the pale… and simply tragic.

Quite obviously, the Russian army is concentrating its power on the central-east battles right now. From all reports, they are paying a high price for what they gain. But the gain is still theirs. They are taking some serious hits in the south, along the Black Sea, as well. The big question remains, “When will Putin call it a day?”

I talked with a quite intelligent man today who refuses to take his family back to Kiev. “It’s not safe yet and it’s not over yet.” Will Kiev again see Russian soldiers on her outskirts before this is over? I don’t think so… buuuut.

We continue to take teams of people up north. We’ve made 8 trips so far, (of three days each), and worked on over 20 houses or buildings. It has been a beautiful way of loving and sharing about relationship with God.  He has already been glorified.  We would love it if He would be glorified through the salvation of souls, as well!

clip_image004This last visit, I worked with these four incredible girls cleaning up everything that had fallen inwards when this house was bombed. The guys were off doing roofs and windows. The girls were veritable champions!

clip_image005The young father who lost this house seemed pretty matter of fact about his loss. I landed the easy task of picking up glass shards and brick pieces from his garden plot with him and he shared that he reckoned they would be ok. He would keep working and would rebuild slowly. (Good on him.) We will be inviting him to the first Bible study we will hold in a couple of weeks.

I also had the privilege of helping Ded Kolya put his ceiling back together again after the front of his house was pierced by shards of at least one bomb. This old gentleman went through a lot during the occupation. Tears come easy still… but even though he refers to the Russian soldiers as “orcs”, he doesn’t seem to hate them.

We are looking towards the east and south as potential “next-focus-areas”… but it wouldn’t be wise to take teams down there at this stage. Work parties that will fix roofs and walls and tidy up are definitely my passion. But for now, it seems wiser to limit our involvement to taking humanitarian aid into these areas.

Last week, we received good news regarding extensions on our visas. We ran into a hiccup because of some bad information we were innocently given and ultimately had to pay a fine due to late submission of our documents. It looks like it will all be fine though, and we will not have to leave. A big relief.

God continues to delight. It is our privilege to serve and love Him.

Please pray for victory for Ukraine.  It’s a simple prayer for a country that has been attacked by a “Hitler”.  May God have mercy on us.

Pray for the salvation of souls who are hearing and understanding the gospel for the first time!  If reports are true, thousands are visiting churches and coming to Christ at this time.

Pray for us as we make decisions going forward regarding where we choose to love.

Pray for those who have been displaced – millions and millions.  God will have mercy on many of them and adopt them into His family.  Pray for this.

May God help you and us give Him glory!clip_image007