|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:
Another war night is descending on Ukraine.
Today I was reminded of another great quote from Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit where Gandalf says: “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
We see it in very obvious ways these days, as world leaders of powerful countries hesitate to offer full support to Ukraine in the fight against the monster who spits threats not only on Ukraine now, we see it’s “ordinary folk” who show solidarity with Ukrainians, who put pressure on their governments to act, who pray, send support, welcome refugees to their homes, gather humanitarian aid, who proactively look for ways to help. Helping even one person, one family makes a difference!
And it’s “ordinary folk” who go to the front lines to risk their lives to defend our country and who volunteer to do whatever it takes to support defenders and to help women and children who flee from war. It’s “ordinary folk” in cities under occupation who stand against russian tanks waving Ukrainian flags and singing the Ukrainian anthem. It’s “ordinary folk” in cities that are coming under nightly bombings who in the morning greet each other with a smile and wish each other to stay safe and have a great day.
In our multi-storied building, we have 3 entrances, each with 44 apartments. In our entrance there are maybe 10-12 apartments that didn’t evacuate. One floor below us there is a family that is expecting a baby in one month. Above us, there is a single mother with two sons. There are others who we see at different times in the elevator or as we come in or leave the building. We even still have a concierge! The lady continues serving as our “security guard” even though not all 44 apartments will be contributing to her pay this month. Our little community knows that Bria was born and I think it has become a great hopeful event for all! One of our neighbors today brought a big box of various baby things – baby food, diapers, creams. We don’t need anything, but we were grateful that in the midst of survival mode there are such acts of kindness and love.
I believe these are not “ordinary folk” after all – these are extraordinary folk that has arisen in the time of darkness! The crisis times bring the best and the worst in people. I am grateful to be surrounded by the ones who shine and keep the darkness at bay!
In this post, I am using a picture of the eyes of our courageous defenders! These are our warriors of light – ordinary extraordinary folk!
Our extraordinary friends, please, keep covering us with your prayers!
Our prayers tonight are with Psalm 33:11-22
“But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.”
Kharkiv: Pastor Sergei helped to evacuate special needs kids from hospice in Kharkiv that continues to be under russian attacks on ground and from the air. Russians are bombing residential areas and targeting hospitals.
Uman “Reconciliation” church is helping refugees and territorial defense units.
Pyrig Ludmila from Lviv Church 3/13/22:
Today, the second Sunday in a row, we gather together for Sunday Service. We are looking for every opportunity to meet face to face, because we miss our society and our communications. Not all of us looked sleepy because the siren sounded 2 times at night and in the morning. Some spent 3 in the shed first then 2 hours. In the morning we learned that at night there was an attacked object, not far from Lviv. On Friday, we all, who are in Lviv, were warned that these should be treated very responsibly. As soon as our service began, the siren sounded. We had nowhere to run so we moved into the hallway and continued communication there.
Every week, our sisters and mothers with children go abroad to safe places. And part of our brothers are involved in patrolling the streets of our city. Each of us is trying to find how to be useful to society at this time. Despite the difficult circumstances, we do not give up and put our trust in our Lord.
Vova Plotskih in Cherkasy 3/13/22:
God makes our church able to help people. Thank you to everyone who is contributing to the measure of strength in our victory. We pray and take action. The Lord is with us
By the grace of the Lord, in these not easy military times for our Ukraine, our church “Tikhaya Pristan” gathered for a Sunday Service. How precious it is to meet together, praise Christ, pray and hear the Word. Confirmed in him and believe in the victory of light over darkness. The biggest miracle was that for the second Sunday in a row there were no worries and sirens – nothing but a blessing to our city!!!!
Now the war has again driven everyone home and people rarely meet, and many are in severe depression, losing the meaning of life. But, even in the most difficult times, God gives the most powerful weapon to Christians – peace of heart. Every Sunday we invite everyone to hear the Word of God, comfort your heart, be his spiritual army in this war (g. Cherkasy, St. Sumgaitian, 38).
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!