God is miraculously sustaining them

On 24 February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. It was a massive escalation of a war that began in Crimea and the Donbas in 2014. For the past 2 years the people of Ukraine have experienced daily attacks on their cities and national infrastructure. Out of a total population of 41 million people, 8 million have been displaced within Ukraine and more than 8 million people, mainly women and children, have fled the country to places of safety. President Zelensky said recently that 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the invasion and many thousands more civilians have been killed and injured by the Russian forces.

We have Christian friends whose home is in Kharkiv, the second city of Ukraine, which is very near the border with Russia. They recently wrote about what life has been like for their friends in Kharkiv over the past 2 years, “People are under constant fire and bombardment. Their neighbour wants to wound them, kill them, destroy all their hope. The conflict drags on, pain and trauma are the new ‘normal’. Children sleep on the floor in corridors, elderly people run to underground bunkers in the middle of the night, no-one sleeps from the constant air raids. Everyone knows someone in danger defending the country, or bereaved in the war, or constantly checking if their loved ones are still alive.”

Our friends have responded by engaging in a ministry of supporting, strengthening, coming alongside the weary and broken, and giving hope to those that are desperate and hurting. They write, “Many servant-hearted Christians continue to labour long hours every day in this conflict, caring for the needy and reaching out to those cut off or wounded or now homeless. Those who serve have served above and beyond – they have drained all their natural energy and are now exhausted, feeling weak and inadequate, crying out to God for help and strength to face another day, another winter.”

How are these people encouraged to keep enduring in such a struggle? There are finding profound encouragement in what they see God is doing. Despite the conflict, God is at work in an amazing way as many people are turning to him and finding hope in Jesus whose death and resurrection sets them free and gives them eternal hope. God is also giving them strength. Our friends wrote, “The people of Eastern Europe are not super strong or super brave; they are weak and exhausted. But they have learned to trust and rely on their heavenly Father who strengthens them every single day. Prayer is not something they have to remember to do, or “schedule in” – they are crying out to God like they breathe oxygen. And God is miraculously sustaining them.”

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