While the rest of the world watched Putin’s Olympics, people in neighboring Ukraine witnessed a different scenario, a violent one. The protests, already enduring for three months in Kiev’s Independence Square, suddenly escalated to the point of claiming 88 lives. My last post echoed the chorus of pleas sent out via cyberspace, asking believers everywhere to join our Ukrainian brothers and sisters and beseech God to move.
The very next day, I received the news that President Yankukovych had been ousted and fled! God answered. He did the impossible, as only God can do.
And then today I read other amazing news. On February 23, the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, as dictated in the constitution, officially stepped up to fulfill the duties of president until the national elections now slated for late May. The new acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, is a Christ-follower! Could this man have been placed in his position for such a time as this?
Well-known as an honest leader and a man of faith, Turchynov was first elected to Parliament in 1998. He regularly preaches in a Baptist church in the capital city of Kiev. Turchynov is calling for unification and healing of his nation. The country is divided, pro-Russian East against the pro-European West. They are on the verge of civil war with Putin’s tanks strategically moved into place.
Pray that God would enable Turchynov to lead his nation into peace. The All Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Churches issued a statement of reconciliation, quoted in full in christianitytoday.com. I’ve copied the final paragraphs below.
The Bible says that there is, “a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecc. 3:7-8). In accordance with these wise words, we declare today to be a time to mend, and not a time to tear the nation apart; a time to seek peace, and not a time to fan the flames of war; a time to learn to love yesterday’s enemies, and not a time to continue to hate rivals and those who have hurt us.
We call on the Evangelical churches of Ukraine to serve to bring peace between people and healing to the wounds of war. We do not call black white and do not justify crimes or even mistakes. But we, as Christians, forgive, because we have been forgiven by God. He reconciled us to Himself, and gave us a message of reconciliation. This grace-giving Word to our whole nation should be heard from Lvov to Donetsk, from Kiev to Simferopol.
We also call upon the international Christian community asking for prayer and intercession for the Ukrainian nation and for help with peacemaking. We mourn for the victims, and thank God for His grace toward Ukraine, and pray for peace and spiritual revival in our nation.
Let’s keep Ukraine in the forefront of our prayers. God has moved mightily, but their needs remain desperate. Pray for peace, reconciliation, and revival!