Thursday, 2 October 2014

Praying for Ukraine and Russia

In bed today with sickness, but I guess it's part of the adventure! Found some entertainment watching Josh put clean sheets on Joni's bunk bed; hopping around the room inside the duvet cover is apparently an essential part of this process.

We have been refreshed and challenged by hearing from a YWAM staff trainer (Jim) each morning this week. Staff have been exploring the fatherhood of God, confessing our mistakes, and complete (or 'radical') obedience.
I was very moved to hear Jim reflect on prayer at this time, calling Ukrainian Christians not to pray with a 'war mindset' (bless our soldiers, bless Ukraine and so on). Instead, to rise above and have a 'Kingdom mindset', praying for both Ukraine and Russia, blessing Russians, finding love for each person involved in this situation, praying that they would each find closeness with God and be able to pray in this way, too.
 'Loving your enemy' feels unnatural and illogical in this world, but I fervently believe in this difficult message. It's painful to hear how the conflict here has driven deep divides between previously close friends, this effect has also extended to Christians, sometimes dividing mission teams. Imagine how wonderfully the Christian family could demonstrate peace and unity if they clung to a 'Kingdom mindset', unconditionally loving one another in defiance of differing political ideologies.

This came to mind:

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(Isaiah 9:6)

How moving and how hopeful. Why should we get caught up worrying about what might happen next in this world? We already know what will happen in the end. Jesus will reign; the Prince of Peace. Perhaps you can join us in praying for Ukraine and Russia in meantime.

What else from us? There are conkers everywhere, which reminds us of Autumn at home. My bag gets progressively heavier each time we go out as Joni slips more in. I've heard conkers stop spiders coming indoors if you put them by the windows, so I don't mind at all! 
We have been here a week already and we have found a sense of home, in the town, in our cosy bedroom and in the wonderful YWAM team we are getting to know. We have found a Ukrainian language teacher and we start learning on Saturday. We have found our way around town, the local food stores, buses and shops. We were shown that you can eat vegetarian food out (very cheaply!), including pizzas, falafel and salads. We are praying fervently for direction on which ministries to pursue. We have so many new ideas and all the work being done here already is totally amazing and in need of volunteers. 

I already miss friends and family after a precious summer catching up with everybody again. My dear friend Lorraine is about to give birth to a little boy (and I know already he is going to be beautiful!). I feel out of touch of what is going on for people, Charlotte's job-hunting, Georgia and Francine's health check ups, Patrick & George's house hunting and Harvest festival at church. Our friends in Nepal are never far from our thoughts and we pray that we will build friendships here. Please keep us updated as to how you all are, I hope you feel our love no-matter how far away we are...

1 comment:

  1. We'll be praying for you to feel better Nina. Fascinating to hear your insights on the situation in Ukraine.