When we called for prayer at the end of January for Ukrainian Christians and their countrymen, the political crisis in that nation appeared to be at a turning point, promising either to improve or to grow worse. It has gotten worse.
Dozens have died in the fire-strewn streets of Kiev as protesters clash with government security forces. Although previous indications of improvement have failed to bear fruit, hopes were lifted again as a new agreement between the Ukraine president and opposition leaders was announced Friday, Feb. 21, 2014.
The leader of TWR’s partner organization in Ukraine provided this first-person report:
“Thank you so much for all your prayers and taking part in our situation. This morning I did not think that in a couple of hours the situation could get so much worse.”
“The ways to Kiev from outside the city are blocked. On my way home today, I wanted to buy bread, but the shop was empty: no bread, no flour. In a short time, the shelves were cleared. A similar picture was in the next store.
“Panic and chaos are rising. At the cash terminals are long queues of people trying to secure some of their money. Cars are in long lines at gas stations to get filled. According to some reports, shops in the outskirts of Kiev are being plundered, the population is frightened. Our children are at home. Schools and universities are closed. I have told our staff to stay home until Monday.
“I would rather not write about the scenes in the city today – so many people are killed. Never could I have imagined that something like this would be possible in my country. Thank you again for praying for us.”
As the two sides in the conflict battle over Ukraine’s future political direction – whether to forge closer ties with the European Union or with its former Soviet partner Russia – “evangelical churches are united in an around-the-clock intercessory prayer vigil for our country,” the leader of TWR’s partner organization wrote earlier.
He specified several concerns for TWR supporters and other Christians around the world to keep in mind as they pray:
- Ask God to bring peace to the confrontation and bloodshed in our country.
- Ask God to give wisdom to politicians responsible for resolving the contentious issues.
- Ask God to awaken an interest in people to seek Christ as a result of these events.
- Ask God to send the spirit of forgiveness to Ukrainian believers and prevent the exacting of revenge.
Scheduled before the crisis erupted, a series of programs by the TWR partner organization in Ukraine focusing on the theme “Caring for the Emotionally Damaged Heart” has been airing in February. The 30-minute pastoral programs, considered especially suitable during this national emergency, were produced during a counseling seminar in Ukraine.
Photo at top: Protesters gather outside the remains of the burned Trade Union Building in Kiev. Photo by Amakuha.