Penetrating the darkness in Ukraine
14 Apr 2022
For most of the Western World, darkness came over Ukraine on 24th of February 2022. For Ukraine however, this darkness has been hovering since 2014, when three large chunks of territory were taken by Russia. We have many friends in one of those areas who lost everything then. Many of them built a new life elsewhere in Ukraine or abroad and some we helped with finances. Dima, a friend, who had moved to Mariupol has just lost everything again. Polina, his pregnant wife took their son to Portugal while Dima stayed in Ukraine to bring people to safety from Lviv in the west, to Mariupol, east of Ukraine.
We have ministry friends in all major cities. One major miracle in this war is that communications seem to be working well. When Pioneers sends money to a ministry for us, we often hear within 15 minutes the money has arrived. We are sending smaller amounts more often, so as to safeguard the donations in case something happens.
Let me tell you about Oxana: Oxana brought her children to safety in Moldova first, then later to Poland. She works around the clock to get vulnerable people to safety and has evacuated at least 20 complete orphanages, many of these children have disabilities. Pavlo, her husband, is drafted into the army. Oxana and her team go back and forth into Ukraine on a daily basis. The border is absolute chaos, but by breaching this chaos daily, they are surely penetrating the darkness with an amazing light and life for thousands.
I am limited to 450 words, so just one more story. The Ukranian Evangelical Theological Seminary (UETS) is a seminary where Jeannette and I have been teaching on a yearly basis since 2004. A core team of 10 people have stayed in Kiev, at least three of them are professors in Theology. They feed and care for people in the basements, bringing water and medicine where needed. Right throughout the bombing period they continued to penetrate the darkness caused by Russia. One loaf of bread and a cup of water is absolute life to a scared grandmother in a bomb shelter. That is incarnational theology in practice!
All these stories are clothed in God’s absolute miraculous workings through so many people.
Here in Australia we are involved in accommodating refugees in homes. We have a young couple in our home who’d been on holidays abroad before the war started. The fathers family is in Germany, and his father is facing life threatening cancer and will have brain surgery before this article is published. If you live in Australia, you can be part of penetrating the darkness for refugees here. All these refugees have a story that needs attention.
Roedie and Jeannette Rap for Discovery Global in Partnership with Pioneers Australia
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