Our friends from Eastern Ukraine
Some things are not as they appear and certainly not as they sound. A ceasefire should mean that soldiers cease firing, yet people in Donetsk report an increase in bombing and shooting. On one particular recent weekend, we are told it was impossible to get good sleep as bombs exploded all through the night. There was a report that many people were falling asleep in church.
Since the ceasefire was agreed upon, over 130 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and several hundred Ukrainian civilians have died. It is impossible to know how many Russian soldiers and mercenaries have died in the fighting, but several times a large truck has been seen crossing back and forth over the Ukrainian border with “Cargo 200” (a term used to describe dead soldiers) written across the side of it.
Twice in the past week, we have heard of churches being taken over by the invading forces. One of these young churches (shown on right) is less than two miles from the our home. The pastor understands church planting and is responsible for several other church plants. Here is how the witness of this grand theft that took place on November twelfth described the event as reported in the blog of V_______ F______,
“These armed people took the building, took the keys for all the locks, kicked the believers who were inside out onto the street and categorically forbade them from holding any kind of service in the church building. They literally said, that if the believers gather again – they all will be shot.”
On Thanksgiving Day, we will be sitting down for a turkey dinner with good friends whom we love and we will certainly be praying prayers of thankfulness from grateful hearts for all of God’s blessings. As we thank God for the freedom we have to worship openly, let us also be reminded to intercede to God on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering in eastern Ukraine and throughout the world.
We ask God to bring peace to Ukraine and for the protection of the Christ-followers in eastern Ukraine. We ask God to help the believers in the war zone stand strong and to reach out to their communities with the love of Christ during this difficult time. We as God for wisdom as we continue to seek His guidance.