I am back in Prague - and glad to be - but will my heart always be in Kyiv? Right now it is. You may or may not have heard of the recent political upheaval going on in Ukraine. You can get some good information and insight through the BBC news site - (click here for just one story, but they - of course - have many on Ukraine -http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6694533.stm )and through this blog my friend tipped me to - www.markmckinnon.blogspot.com
I just remember standing on the streets of Kyiv during the Orange Revolution and being so full of hope. We were out there day and night, snow, cold...whatever. We were helping to hand out food, Bibles, Christian books...people were kind to one another, talking to one another...the streets were filled with protests and the "tent-city" but it was because the people were filled with hope! They truly believed things could change and that THEY could really make a difference.
This video by Maria Burmaka makes me cry when I see it now and think of how we felt then and how things seem now. But then I am reminded "from where comes our hope" - "from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth".
This summer will be a Franklin Graham Crusade in Kyiv, people will be coming from throughout Ukraine to hear the message of hope proclaimed once more. Please pray for Ukraine! Pray that people would come to know the saving grace of God, but also that Christians would stand up and once again protest! Not politically, but spiritually! That they would stand up against apathy, complacency and compromise and be on their knees before God and ask Him to once again fill Ukraine's people with hope! But not hope in a leader, or a political solution, but hope in God and His mercy. That Christians, filled by the power of the Holy Spirit would walk in righteous in their everyday lives so that it would be a wave that grows and grows and grows and eventually envelopes the country in righteous and the blessings that follow. Not through lobbying, etc. but through love, grace, mercy and the power of God's spirit.
I pray that there would come a time that NEVER again would I hear from or about Ukrainians, in response to questions as to"little sins" that "oh our people are just that way"...."its just our mentality"..."our pastors haven't taken a stand from the pulpit on this so people just don't know better"....I am not condemning Ukriane...I love Ukraine...and I still believe she and her people are better than such compromising answers! But these are the things I have heard from believers in response to questions about "little sins"...those "little foxes that ruin the vineyard".
And this isn't just Ukraine...this is all of us....myself first in line. Do we really think that little compromises won't eventually affect everything around us? Why is the Church in America so often weak and appearing no different than the world we supposedly claim to have the answer for? Could it be that we, the people of God, have lost our sense of holiness? I don't mean "don't do this, don't do that.." but rather a sense that what we do affects the whole picture. That we ARE a Body, interconnected spiritually and physically and that weakness, sickness, etc. sooner or later spreads to the whole body and affects us all.
Ok...Danny Foote may not give this rant an A+, but what is happening in Ukraine just touched a nerve in me that made me think of the bigger picture...
Ukrainians, my dear beloved friends, watch the video and remember and cry out to God to once again fill your country with hope...hope in God and His redemption! I am with you in my heart and soul...