When I get aggravated about rising gas prices, inflated grocery costs and other inconveniences stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I remind myself that at least I know where my next meal is coming from and that I have a warm bed to sleep in.
We need to pray for these people and for God to intervene in this war.
Rallying around Ukraine
Southern Baptists have stepped to the forefront. Send Relief, a collaboration between the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board, responds to natural disasters, refugee needs and other crises. Representatives meet refugees at train stations and bus stops as they arrive and start ministering immediately.
Churches in both Russia and Ukraine have been impacted, as have two key seminaries.
The Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv, under the presidency of Yaroslav Pyzh, shifted into crisis mode when the invasion hit. Lviv is 600 miles west of the capitol city of Kyiv. Thousands of refugees have been streaming through Lviv, about 40 miles east of the Polish border, as they leave the country.
On the first day of attack, classes were in session and students from the eastern part of Ukraine could not return home. Then the refugees started pouring in. The seminary staff converted three buildings into makeshift dormitories with mattresses and pillows and have offices ready to convert if necessary.
Ukrainian churches cannot meet now but are responding with prayer and collecting food and clothing to assist the refugees, who often show up with only the clothes on their backs.
“We need a miracle,” Pyzh said.
Ways to pray
Adam Coker teaches history and Christian studies at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia. He and his wife served 16 years in Russia as IMB missionaries. He stays in touch with many friends and believers who need our prayers.
He shared his top 10 prayer requests and suggests we pray for …
– government leaders making decisions affecting millions of people,
– peace and the end of the war,
– access to basic necessities (food, water and medicine),
– traveling mercies for those fleeing to the West,
– Ukrainian believers to carry the gospel with them as they flee,
– evangelical pastors and believers, a minority in Russia, who often experience increased scrutiny and pressure in tense times like these,
– believers in Ukraine to give a powerful witness,
– receptivity to the gospel in lives of those receiving help,
– believers in European countries to show hospitality to those coming in,
– people to see God at work despite these horrendous circumstances.
EDITOR’S NOTE — David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia.