Today I’m fasting and praying for Ukraine. I’m praying for peace in the country and in the heart of each Ukrainian.
(You can join our prayer team here)
I started the day by heading over to the women’s center where we are training the volunteers how to share Jesus with the women who come in (I’ll share with you more about that ministry tomorrow)
I snapped some pictures of the training and got some video then headed for home. I was praying in my head as I passed dozens of Ukrainians who were about their busy lives on this Saturday here in Odessa.
Since I had my camera in hand I decided to snap a few pictures as a reminder of who I’m praying for. I hope that in sharing these pictures it will spur you to deeper and more thoughtful prayer for the Ukrainian people this weekend.
I took these pictures on the walk home between the women’s center and my house which is about a 20 minute walk.
Most Ukrainians, including ourselves live in large apartment buildings like this one. When I see a building like this I try to remind myself that there are hundreds and sometimes thousands living right there in one building.
Inside those gray concrete walls are all the colors of life! It’s not a nameless mass of humanity, there are individuals, each with his own story, each with his own problems, each with his own needs.
They all need Jesus!
Waiting is part of life for most Ukrainians. Right now they are holding their breaths waiting to see if Russia will continue to consume chunks of Ukraine until there’s nothing left. Most feel helpless, like they’re waiting for an earthquake or some other natural disaster that no one can stop.
They need hope!
Many of the older generation remember the Soviet Union fondly, it was a time when their country was a world power, when there was more order, when there was naive hope that someday they’d reach communist perfection and there would be world peace.
It didn’t turn out like Lenin had planned. The younger generation has different ideologies. For many life is about finding a way to make some money, have fun with your friends and if possible find a better life outside of Ukraine.
They need a reason for living!
For the middle generation life is simply about trying to get by. Sell whatever you can to whomever you can. Over the last year the 100 Ukrainian Hryvnia bought you 12 usd now it buys only 4 usd!
They need they’re daily bread!
For most outside of the war zone life goes on. What you don’t see here is that many outside the war zone came from the war zone. As with most other cities in Ukraine, Odessa has been flooded with refugees who left their homes and all they had. Now they’re struggling to survive and hoping the war doesn’t catch-up with them in their new city.
They need comfort!
Business has slowed for many, even news doesn’t seem to fly off the shelves that fast these days. Maybe it’s because no one has the change to spare and maybe it’s because Ukrainians have grown tired of hearing the same old news of more war, more losses and more retreats.
They need the Good-news!
Thousands of women like these appear every day on sidewalks all over Ukraine. These women sell their wares in front of our apartment building.
Jam, mushrooms, olives, used tennis-shoes, a coloring book, a pair of nylons, garlic, prunes are among just a few of the things these women were selling today.
They need your prayers!