|Dear Friends and Partners,
The following is copied and shared with permission and reflects a deeply personal perspective forged amid the daily suffering and sacrifice caused by the war in Ukraine. This update is offered to inform and encourage your prayerful support for all who are affected by this tragedy. Thank you.
Update from Maia:
Day 17th of a Russian invasion.
“How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.”
“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
(Lord of the Rings, Tolkien)
We tried to sleep in bed, but three times just as we were starting to get warm and drift into sleep air raid would send us back into a bomb shelter. Sasha wanted to sleep in bed, so we kept trying to return to our beds, but after the third air raid, we gave us and spent the rest of the night on the floor of a bomb shelter.
Ukrainian’s battle against the evil and darkness of the Russian invasion continues. Our army is doing the impossible and we know it’s not only because our men and women defend their homes and children but also because God is with us!
One of our news media made an overview of key narratives that are being pushed by Russian propaganda to their citizens. They continue saying that what they are doing in Ukraine is not an invasion, it’s liberation. They want to take over the whole of Ukraine to free it (and free the rest of the world!) from Nazism. They should have come up with a better cover-up while invading a country where the democratically elected President is Jewish.
They claim they want to free us so that we could have freedom of speech. This is being said in a country where people are being put to prison for saying, “No to war!”, where leaders of the opposition are killed, poisoned, or sent to Siberia to prison camps and any small protests end up with people being arrested. What is happening in Russia has elements of fascism and Stalinism, but it’s a new evil all of its own – Putinism. When we win this war Russia will need to free itself from that evil – first of all in their minds.
Meanwhile, Russian citizens are puzzled over all the sanctions that are being so “unjustly” imposed on them, “liberators of the world from Ukrainians nazis”. It doesn’t seem to make them wonder why something that is called in Russia “white” is seen by the rest of the world as “black”.
When I read endless lies that Russian propaganda is pouring into their citizens’ minds I don’t see how this war can end. Putin has made statements that make it impossible for him to back off. But we know from history that God has destroyed every empire. If God is using Ukrainians as His tools in this process it’s an honor, though the losses are painful and the nights are especially scary.
I think this dialogue from “Lord of the Rings” is very relevant and inspiring to us now.
Frodo : I can’t do this, Sam.
Sam : I know. It’s all wrong By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
Maia’s Evening Update:
11pm. The night is descending on Ukraine.
The evening was quiet. We had a family dinner without interruption of air raid sirens. We hope the night ahead is quiet but we wonder if this is quietness before the storm.
In my morning post I quoted an episode from Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, where Sam and Frodo talk about “the stories that matter that are full of darkness and danger, where “folks” had lots of changes of turning back but they didn’t because they were holding on to something good in this world, that is worth fighting for.” That whole episode in “Lord of the Rings” is so relevant to us in Ukraine now! We are holding on to something worth fighting for – we are holding on to our freedom!
My friend, Marsha Harwood, reminded me of another conversation between Frodo and Sam when they were almost at the place where the ring and evil could be destroyed but Frodo was too weak to go on. Sam told him: “I can’t carry your burden, but I can carry you!” And he scooped him up and carried him.
You, our friends, can’t carry our burden of destroying this evil of Russian aggressors on our land, but you carry us in your prayers to the throne of God, you carry us in your prayers to the end of the reign of this terror, you cover the sky above us with your prayers to protect us from bombs and rockets. We are grateful for your love, your concern for us, and for your prayers!
As I am writing this we are getting messages from Mariupol, the city that has been mercilessly bombed for many days now, where two days ago Maternity hospital was deliberately targeted and bombed. Mariupol has no water, electricity, heat, food. Most people lost roofs over their heads. The situation is dire. Only God can protect and save the civilians and defenders of that city. We need God’s miracle. Russians are set on leveling Mariupol to the ground. Please, carry in your prayers Mariupol and all the people in it!
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
and His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against the ones doing evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.”
Please share these updates with others. Your prayers are precious to us. Thank you!