Where Did We Go?
“Help me, Obe-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Many of us have heard the words of Princess Leia desperately recorded onto R2-D2’s hard drive, pleading for help in Star Wars.
The events of the past year in Eastern Europe sometimes seem like a sci-fi drama, but sadly, they are being lived out in painful reality by over 7 million people who have been displaced because of the Ukrainian war.I recently had the privilege of leading a team from Bridgeway to Romania. The goal of this team was to support our Ukrainian brothers and sisters who have fled Ukraine due to the war.
While in Romania, we fulfilled this duty by ministering in churches, working in an orphanage, and spending time with children and families at a newly formed Ukrainian school. One of the most important things we got to do is listen. Listening to people’s stories allows us to learn about real circumstances that are occurring because of the war. This listening shows the value of how important our Ukrainian friends are to God and to us. It also allows us to communicate back home some of the messages that may not be communicated through the media.
What Did We Hear?
“They are bringing trauma, but they are also bringing hope.” – Pastor Florine, Medias, Romania
One message that I heard from Ukrainian pastors and missionaries is that is there is a revival happening among Ukrainians. Amidst a war that has caused people to flee their homeland, often leaving behind husbands and fathers who stayed to fight, God is moving. In the middle of food shortages, power outages, and fear of the enemy, people are finding hope in God. As I sat and listened to my friends, I was amazed at their strength and resolve to reach people for Jesus. They could have simply taken refuge in Romania, happy that they are surviving. I don’t think I would expect any more or any less of them for being content with their safety. Yet, they see the mission field. They extend the love of Jesus by meeting people’s physical and emotional needs, providing food and medical supplies, and listening and speaking words of encouragement. This ministry of loving like Jesus easily turns into opportunities for leading people to Jesus.
What Can You Do?
Please pray for our Ukrainian friends. Pray for their provision and protection, and also pray for the pastors and missionaries who are not only meeting the physical needs, but also the spiritual needs. Continue to pray for peace in Ukraine, and even more, pray that the God of peace would reign in their hearts and minds despite the circumstances.
Knowing about the revival among Ukrainians should also be a challenge to you and to me. Oftentimes our material possessions, diplomas and certificates, or prestige and popularity cause us to feel sufficient, like we don’t need God. The truth is we need God just as much as a refugee. John 15:5 reminds us that God is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. My encouragement to you is to cling to God as your all in all because He is more than enough. No matter your trauma, no matter your circumstance, Jesus is “our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1). As we wait for the coming of “our blessed hope,” Jesus (Titus 2:13), remember Jesus doesn’t just bring hope; He is our only hope.
To learn more about Bridgeway’s trip to Romania check out the teams report back meeting, go to https://youtu.be/gqFawqzXpoI
– Pastor Jared Sorber and the Ukraine Mission’s Team
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