Plastered across the news, shadowing every conversation, flitting around in the back of our minds, is the worrying news surrounding the border between Russia and Ukraine. Reports swirl, social media is a buzz, and Christians pray for God’s mercy in this threatening time. As soldiers of Christ, how should we engage this challenging time?
As citizens of heaven, our earthly citizenships – whether in America, or Ukraine – are secondary (Philippians 3:20). Nevertheless, our heavenly citizenship does not keep us from seeking the good of nations and cities the Lord has placed us in (Jeremiah 29:4 – 7). Christians pray for political leaders, for the safety of our soldiers, and for the cause of righteousness and justice in our world. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially in foreign countries as they face these amazing challenges.
As soldiers of Christ, our weapons are spiritual, not physical. We fight for love, not victory. But fight we must, and the Church is our spiritual training ground.
The Church in Ukraine
How are Christians getting along in Ukraine and Russia? There are as many stories as there are believers in those countries. Some are fleeing. Some are hiding.
I was personally amazed by the following video, which records Ukrainian Christians singing “He Will Hold Me Fast” as they await their fate in the midst of violence and conflict. Do you know why this is especially meaningful to me? We sang this same song in worship last Sunday, in very different circumstances. How thankful we are for our freedoms. How we pray for God to hold us fast. This is a beautiful reminder of the communion of saints around the world, lifting up the same song of praise to our Glorious Savior.
Here’s one story of a pastor who has chosen to stay and minister in the midst of war. He writes,
“In recent weeks, nearly all the missionaries have been told to leave Ukraine. Western nations evacuated their embassies and citizens. Traffic in the capital of Kyiv is disappearing… My wife and I have decided to remain in our city near Kyiv… How should the church respond when there is a growing threat of war? When there is constant fear in society? I’m convinced that if the church is not relevant at a time of crisis, then it is not relevant in a time of peace.”
You can read the entire article, “To Stay And Serve” at the link below:
We are thankful for the faith of our spiritual siblings, and their example of steadfast courage in the face of difficulty.
What Can I Do?
- The Executive Director for a Ukrainian ministry called Mulberry encourages Christians to be in prayer. Pray for:
- Peace and security for so many who are being deprived. That the Prince of Peace would bring His peace
- People who are trapped by the conflict, either locally or in their situations
- Provisions for those who are without food & water, or electricity, or communications, or other goods that the conflict has stripped from them
- For the Church of the Lord Jesus in all nations, both Ukraine and Russia, to be faithful to the Gospel and to love in Christian charity
Get in touch with others who have a ministry presence in Ukraine. We are grateful for our partnership with International Messengers, who have a number of ministry contacts in Ukraine. IM has a designated link for donations that will go directly to ministry relief, which you can learn more about here.
You can find advice about how to talk to your children about the conflict. Understand how spiritual struggles like lust even inform missions efforts in Ukraine. Learn about church planting in Ukraine.
Finally, pray for God to grant you wisdom to follow His Spirit in this time. Perhaps God will lead you to your own way to support Christians in Ukraine, or to respond in another way. Let’s ask for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and for even this conflict to spread the Gospel of Jesus, the hope of all nations.