I have seen many wars and conflicts but for me, they were headlines and I did not always realize the human pain that is involved.
My father was drafted during the Korean war but he never saw action. The cease fire was signed while he was still in boot camp and I knew no Korean people at that time. War in Vietnam raged all through my childhood and I knew people who had been drafted but I did not know, anyone who was killed during the war lived in Vietnam. For me, the war was mostly a news story. The invasions of Panama and Grenada were also for me, news events without any personal connections.
At the time of the middle eastern wars I knew nobody in the middle east and I knew no soldiers. Of course, I felt badly for all those involved but these conflicts were not personal to me. I didn’t know the military or the civilians.
Now Putin and his Russian armies are swarming into the Ukraine. For me, this is not just another news story. I know a number of people from the Ukraine and they have relatives there. For me, the Ukrainians who are in harm’s way are friends or relatives of friends of mine. I feel this war more than I have the other wars that I have lived through.
Pastor Steve is a Reformed Church minister in a nearby town from me. We were in seminary together. He and his wife have made a ministry of adopting and caring for special needs children. Several have come from an orphanage in Kiev. These special needs children worry about their old friends from the orphanage and were frightened to see their orphanage on the television news. They wondered if the building would continue to stand or would it fall to bombs.
The former organist in my congregation came from the Ukraine for work. Her son lived in the Ukraine during her time with us. She posts nervously about the fate of her family and friends now that Putin has chosen to invade her homeland.
An elder of my congregation is Ukrainian although she never lived in the Ukraine. She and her husband had Ukrainian parents but they were born in a refugee camp in Germany following World War II. As far as I know she never visited the Ukraine but she was raised with Ukrainian customs and feels a kinship with people in the Ukraine. Her parents told her stories of the horrors of being invaded and she has deep empathy for every invasion victim. Other wars and conflicts that I have seen were horrible and cost many civilian lives. They caused me to say a lot of prayers. This one for me is more personal. I know people who are greatly affected by it. My prayers during this invasion will be even more fervent. I encourage all who read this to be in prayer for the welfare of all those in the Ukraine who are suffering from this horrible invasion.
A prayer for Ukraine is posted for you:
Prayers for God’s Mercy in Ukraine
# Ukraine #Russia
#Peace # Conflict
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order copy of his book:
The Circle of Seven