Continue praying for Ukraine, and for peace

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Apr 7 2022 12:57 AM

From John E White, an Instructor at Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary (whose dean was among the many civilians killed in Bucha):

Dear friends!

Below you can read what Ivan Rusyn, our school president, and Fedir Raychynets, head of the Department of Theology, wrote after visiting their home town of Bucha yesterday:

Ivan Rusyn: 

“Yesterday, I had a chance to get to Bucha, the town where my wife and I have lived for the last eight years. Today, this town is known all over the world due to the mass killings of men, women and children.

There, I met some retired people I knew. They told me that they had been through a real hell. They did not have water, electricity, medications – all those things we usually take for granted – for more than a month.

A 70-year old widow could not hold back tears while sharing how the Russian soldiers were looting her apartment.

In the basement where I spent the first five days of the war, I met another two people – a mother with her son Yaroslav – who spent many nights in total darkness. You can’t imagine their reaction when I told them that I could take them to Kyiv…

When I managed to get to my apartment, I found out that it had been looted… as well as other 28 apartments in my entrance. Things the Russians could not take with them were damaged.

Together with my colleague from UETS and my friend from the Ukrainian Bible Society, we managed to deliver to Bucha much food, medications, flashlights, power banks and a generator. In fact, the humanitarian crisis in the area is very unlikely to end up any time soon.

After we took Yaroslav and his mother to a safe place, we went to a forest where we served a communion to a group of Ukrainian soldiers. It was enormous joy to hear from them “thank you for being with us” in interruptive response to our encouraging words “thank you, brothers, for your service.”

Scenes of mass graves, killed women and children, exhausted lonely people, demolished and looted houses as well as the news about the enemy planning another major offensive in the East are a great burden. The more suffering I witness, the quieter my emotions become, with almost indiscernible whispering “Oh, God, you know everything…” on my lips."

Fedir Raychynets:

“Kyiv. Day 41 of the war. Yesterday, we went to Bucha, Hostomel' and Irpin’ to deliver some necessities there. The blood froze in our veins for some time. I felt like rushing somewhere and keep silent in isolation. My chest was squeezed with dumb indescribable pain.

The scope of destruction, especially in the view of the fact that you knew how life was flowing there before the war, seem catastrophic. Photos and videos, of course, can render it to a certain extent, but the reality is much gloomier.

The most shocking are rare people walking like ghosts, expression of their faces, color of their skin, who wanted to come to any stranger and share, share, and share what they had been through…

Who is ready to hear them rather than just listen? What knowledge, what wisdom is needed to share their pain?

Yesterday, for the first time in these 40 days of the war, I got scared not of missiles over my head, bomb explosions nearby, but the need to adjust and live with all this.”

God, help us live through it and remain humans…"

---- Here they are, serving communion to a group of Ukrainian soldiers.
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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 1:02 AM

Thank you, Rosie.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 6:05 AM

May God grant Ukraine a just and lasting peace. May He bless all those who are bringing help and comfort to that land.

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Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 7:12 AM

Thank you for posting.  I have friends from Poland who regularly deliver food and supplies deep inside Ukraine.

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 8:39 AM

Thank you for sharing and thank you for the prayers.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 2:03 PM

Thanks Rosie. My heart is broken and I find it difficult to find the right words to pray.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 2:10 PM

Bruce Dunning:

Thanks Rosie. My heart is broken and I find it difficult to find the right words to pray.

The Spirit intercedes for us when we don't know what words to pray. Just an attitude of prayer is enough. No words are needed.

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Nord Zootman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 5:37 PM

Thanks Rosie. I will continue praying.

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Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 7 2022 11:24 PM

Thank you, Rosie, for encouraging us all to keep on praying with, as you alluded to, "sighs too deep for words." "How long, O LORD!??!"

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John W | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 8 2022 7:37 AM

If we are able to post prayer requests,

Please pray for the 1.8 billion Muslims as they observe Ramadan, 4/2-5/1.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 8 2022 10:01 AM

John W:

If we are able to post prayer requests,

Please pray for the 1.8 billion Muslims as they observe Ramadan, 4/2-5/1.

I'll pray for the ones who are suffering or oppressed right now, of which there are many, chief among them the Rohingya people and those who face Islamophobic attacks in Western countries. Most of the 1.8 billion are just observing a regular annual month of prayer and fasting, which they do freely in the countries where they live. No biggie. I pray they can be at peace amongst themselves (I know there are factions), and that they might know Isa (Jesus) personally. But this does seem to be a distraction from the current thread.

Yes, we are able to post prayer requests. People do from time to time. I'd start a new thread, though.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 8 2022 6:23 PM

Rosie Perera:

Bruce Dunning:

Thanks Rosie. My heart is broken and I find it difficult to find the right words to pray.

The Spirit intercedes for us when we don't know what words to pray. Just an attitude of prayer is enough. No words are needed.

Thanks for the reminder.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

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