|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.
If you would like to help us with humanitarian aid efforts you can donate through our website https://ipministry.org/donate/. The needs are growing as we keep helping thousands of people to move west within Ukraine and also helping those who want to leave the country temporarily. We need funds most of all for gas, but also for food and various supplies (medical, bed linens, mattresses, etc). Thank you.
Update from Maia:
Day 44 of russian invasion. Borodyanka (liberated suburbs of Kyiv).
This woman is waiting for 3 days for her family to be pulled out from under the rubble. Rescuers gave her a chair.
More from Maia:
The night is coming…
I wanted this post to be about beauty because we were able to harvest some of Sasha’s beautiful flowers on her flower farm today. I had a chance to photograph the blooms and I thought I would get distracted from the thoughts of war. But it’s impossible to forget reality, especially after this morning’s news about 38 people killed and more than 100 injured when russians bombed a train station in Kramatosk where thousands of people were waiting for an evacuation train.
Have you ever been robbed, have you ever had anything stolen from you? I am sure every one of us has that experience at least once in a lifetime. Even if it was something insignificant you feel violated, right? Today when Nick and I were at Sasha’s flower farm we opened their garden house and found a note Sasha and Nikita had left there months ago. In the fall someone broke into that garden house and stole some tools, electric cords that we used to power the water pump, and a few other things, like toilet paper and mosquito repellent. It was upsetting, it felt like a personal violation, but we were glad that it was really an insignificant loss.
Sasha and Nikita wrote this note and left it in the garden house in case robbers return for more: “Your theft spoiled our day. But we are Christians and we know everything is in God’s hands. You will respond to Him for every action of yours – good and bad.”
I was watering Sasha’s flowers which in spite of lack of care were blooming and I was thinking about that note and about so many things that russians had stolen from Ukrainians this year. They stole our spring, they stole our peace, they stole our plans. They stole Ukrainians’ joy, dreams, homes and things from their homes, they stole childhood from our kids, their innocence and sense of security, they stole the lives of so many.
They want to steal our land, our freedom, our right to our own language and culture, they want to steal our future. But they will fail. And as believers we know they will have to respond to God for every atrocity, for every crime, for every life taken, for every rape, every torture they afflicted, for every tear of a child.
You will feel dissonance between my text and my pictures in this post. But this is exactly what I felt when I was watering beautiful flowers and thinking about what russians stole from us.
“To you, LORD, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.
4 Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.
6 Praise be to the LORD,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
8 The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.”
Please share these updates with others. I have added direct links to our email, our website, and to the IP Ministry Journal on YouTube to the bottom of this page. Your prayers are precious to us. Thank you!