For the past week we have been traveling around Ukraine visiting our fellow missionaries who work there. We went to encourage them, to pray with them, and we were the ones who came away encouraged. In spite of the enormous political unrest and daily uncertainty, these brave souls are continuing to work for the Kingdom. One family asked us, what if we feel called to remain, even if Russia occupies our city? That is inspiring courage.
While we were in Kiev, we had the privilege of visiting the Maidan, scene of the late February, violent clashes between ordinary citizens and armed riot police. Although the former battleground is still “occupied” by local militias, it is slowly being transformed into a memorial to those who died in the fighting. Large patches of streets and sidewalks are covered with memorial candles and two-foot-thick piles of flowers. There are dozens of makeshift memorials to the “heavenly hundred” who gave their lives to liberate their fellow citizens from the oppressive and massively corrupt former government.
Most jarring of all was a 10 meter stretch of sidewalk devoted to the memory of a young man who could not have been more than 17 years old – just a few years older than our grandsons. What a sacrifice. Who would give their son, or grandson, to buy the freedom of others? Who would endure the lifelong pain of such a memory, such a loss? God would.
With hopes for our own resurrection from the dead and the city whose architect and builder is God,
Johnny and Annette