Kevin on behalf of Edik and Liana – Ukraine:
How long O Lord? Occurring some 59 times in the Bible, this question expresses the desperation of the speaker’s condition along with hope in a God, who – despite circumstances – is coming! There is, perhaps, no better question to be asking with regard to the war in Ukraine. The Why? question leads us nowhere really; and the How? (to sort it out) question does not give us much comfort either; but How long O Lord? plants us in the reality of our circumstances whilst also lifting our eyes and hearts to King Jesus. He is not silent on the issue of injustice and the unchecked wielding of power. He is not unmoved. He is coming.
On each of the 59 or so occasions that psalmists and prophets utter these words, a deep longing for catastrophic events to come to an end is being expressed. Asaph is not really asking the Lord for a timescale when he asks How long? (Ps 79:5) as it already feels to him as though these unbearable circumstances will last for ever (Ps 79:5b). Rather, he is asking the Lord: How much longer Lord until we experience your compassion coming speedily to meet us? (Ps 79:8).
How long O Lord? At point of writing, the June Ukrainian offensive is underway and I am watching video of a dam, (the first of many???) destroyed by the Russians and now pouring millions of litres of water towards inhabited areas where tens of thousands are being urged to flee their homes (again!!) and get to high ground. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is once again under threat due to these actions and all the while, Ukrainians look on as new heights of death and destruction within their nation are being realised. How long, O Lord, how long?
And yet, within the darkness of this long period of waiting (some sixteen months of war now) the Gospel is lighting up the shadows. It’s not that “good stories” simply cancel out acts of evil, providing us with a distraction. They don’t. The evil is real and the effects of this war will be felt for generations. Rather it’s that within the darkness, the imperishable seed of the Gospel is being sown. Indeed, we can only really begin to understand the brightness of the Gospel in the context of the darkness that it is overcoming.
To stand with Edik and Liana in Uzhgorod, is to fellowship with friends who are living and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom in Ukraine’s darkest of days; and those who continue to pray and give and support this gospel ministry, find themselves standing with this gospel outpost, shining brightly, within the darkness of this present age.
But: How long, O Lord….until we experience your compassion coming speedily to meet us? (79:5,8) And we see an end to the brutality of this war. How long?
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Edik Writes 05/06
All people understand that the whole future of Ukraine and the future of each of us depends on the success of this month’s offensive. All the people are tired of the war and the disasters that this war has brought. A lot of people died both military and civilian.
The other day we bought groceries and tomorrow we plan to start distributing them. Also, in May:
- we paid for 20 rooms in the hotel at 150 dollars for refugees;
- 32 people received weekly cash assistance, averaging $100 per month;
- We bought $1,000 worth of groceries and will be handing them out this week;
- Renting the conference room for our church to meet in was $500
- Renting an apartment was $400,
- Renting a warehouse to store the food and provisions that we buy was $100.
- Also, assistance to churches amounted to $1,600 ($500 in Berehove, $500 in Yenakiyevo, $300 in Chenovtsy, and $300 in a group in Brovary
Some photos from the food distribution…
Also, the owners of our apartment we have been renting all this time sold it and we were forced to look for another one. It was difficult, as new landlords refused to let us rent new apartments because of our dog. But thank God, we found a suitable apartment and paid an advance.
Thank you very much for your help and this service to us. We can’t even imagine what we would have done and how we could manage without your support! We love you very much and are always waiting for you!
Edik Writes 06/06
Hi dear Kevin, (regarding the destruction of the dam) a great misfortune has happened. President Zelensky warned us about this six months ago. Russia showed their cowardice and inhumanity. They want to intimidate us and show us that they are ready for anything. As a result, a new flow of refugees from disaster areas is expected and we are preparing to receive new people here.
Some photos from the disaster area...
But also some good news! From our bible school we have newly converted refugees (below) whom we are preparing for baptism.
Thank you for your help and support and for being with us all this time.