Perspectives on war — Marian Fitz-Gibbon

Someone said to me, “I never thought I would live through war in my lifetime”.  I’m sure it’s a statement many of us are also quoting when we tune in to the various news channels to get an update on world events. 

When it’s said that the war between Russia and Ukraine could possibly escalate into World War III then watching the news becomes part of daily routine. It’s what you do with what you’ve read or heard that counts. 

In trying to understand President Putin’s motive for invading Ukraine one might want to consider what one reporter said on BBC which was, don’t look at the obvious.

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Relief packages to Ukraine from India (PHOTO: News Track)

Speaking on the Elijah List, prophet Johnny Enlow said: It’s not what it looks like,” and that praying in tongues might be the best strategy.

The debate is on as to whether this current conflict is the harbinger to Ezekiel 38. Charlie Shamp shared a prophetic word wherein he stated that he felt that the war between Ukraine and Russia would not lead to World War III. 

There may be reasons for the war other than what the media is presenting. On that note about the media, it has come to our attention that a good deal of the graphics in use are false or are from other wars, thus creating a wrong perspective on both sides.

A while ago we were warned that the media would become a place of attack in our lives, I guess we didn’t expect it to be in this context. Nonetheless one is encouraged to continue to press on in prayer for a resolution between the two countries. 

Who’s doing what?

It was so encouraging to read that the Franklin Graham humanitarian relief organisation is sending disaster response teams to Poland, Romania and Moldovo. The Samaritans Purse will be setting up emergency field hospitals together with medical professionals.

Unicef, the UN’s children’s charity, said it was accepting donations to help ensure child health and protection services are sustained and families have clean water and food.

The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, the largest representative body for Ukrainians in the UK, has raised nearly £850 000 (R17,24 million). which it said would fund immediate emergency and ongoing needs such as medicine and hygiene packs.

A Ukrainian mother, Inna Schorr, who lives in London, has raised thousands of pounds in just three days.

War through the eyes of a child

The attack on schools in Ukraine has endangered children and their futures. Save the Children organisation has estimated 350 000 have been affected either by Covid or the current war.

The attacks on schools and hospitals are classified by UN as one of the six grave violations against children.

Save the Children is calling for immediate cessation of hostilities, as the only way to protect children from violence and other violations of their rights.

Mothers have become creative in sharing the story of war with their children, naming Putin as the bully on the playground.

One in Spirit

I came across some accounts of pastors and leaders of churches in Ukraine and Russia who have called for prayer to stop the war. Some of the Scriptures and prayers were most encouraging:

“The whole church prayed on their knees for our president, our country, and for peace,” said Vadym Kulynchenko of his church in Kamyanka, Ukraine 233km south of the capital. “After the service, we did a first-aid training.”

On Sunday, the congregation of about 80 people — just beginning to swell with newcomers seeking refuge — regathered to hear a sermon on David and Goliath.

“Soldiers and officers are telling me they are witnessing miracles from above,” said Oleksiy Khyzhnyak, a Pentecostal pastor in Bucha, 43km northwest of Kyiv, which witnessed Sunday’s most severe fighting. “’It is not our achievement,’ they said.”

Khyzhnyak told Yuri Kulakevych, foreign affairs director of the Ukrainian Pentecostal Church, that rockets fell without explosion and Russian tanks ran out of fuel, and that soldiers, lost in unfamiliar locations, were asking villagers for directions — and even bread.

Pastors like Rhoda and Timothy Waterson have turned their church into a place of shelter.  

“We are called to speak the truth and expose deceit,” they stated. “We … strongly condemn the open and unjustified aggression aimed at destroying the statehood and independence of Ukraine, based on blatant lies” from Putin “which are clearly contrary to God’s revelation,” they said.

“We confess the real and unlimited power of God over all countries and continents (Ps. 24:1), as well as over all kings and rulers (Prov. 21:1); therefore, nothing in all creation can interfere with the fulfilment of the good and perfect will of God. We, together with the first Christians, affirm Jesus is Lord, and not Caesar,” they continued.

Bolder still were a number of pastors within Russia.

“I am so sorry that my country attacked its neighbour,” stated Constantin Lysakov, a pastor at Moscow Bible Church. “No matter how we call this event, no matter how we justify it, … there is no shifting blame when you are repenting. And we all should repent over what took place.”

“My soul is grieved, my heart is torn with horror and shame, and my mind is shocked by human insanity,” said the pastor of Russian Bible Church in Moscow. “We are not politicians; we are children of God. We are not called to remake the geopolitical map of the world to please this or that ruler. … Let the world see that the children of God love and accept one another, not because of language [or] nationality … but because they have been accepted by Christ.”

Across Russia on Sunday, the approximately 700 churches within the 26 Protestant unions that compose the All-Russia Commonwealth of Evangelical Christians jointly declared a time of prayer and fasting for peace, said Pavel Kolesnikov, former ARCEC chairman and Eurasia regional director for the Lausanne Movement. “This is our action,” he told CT.

At his own church, Zelenograd Baptist Church in Moscow, Kolesnikov asked attendees at the morning service to join hands — every man, woman, and child — to pray for peace and wisdom for the governments of both countries. His church has also been collecting supplies, as many Russian churches are, to aid Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring nations.

“It is not our war,” he said. “We love our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.”

Joining in the fast on Sunday, the Russian Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists called on believers to be peacemakers.

“The Bible urges us to pay attention to the battles taking place in the unseen spiritual realm that surrounds us. We can’t afford to fritter away the time and energy God gives us by ignoring our roles in battles that will have eternal consequences. As Christians, it’s vital to engage in spiritual battles, because the more we do, the more we can overcome evil in this fallen world by God’s power working through us.”(Extracts of  reporting by Kate Shellnutt. (published in Christianity Today)

We have great need of spiritual eyesight regarding the conflict and that we may the know the assisting power of God’s angelic beings. That during this time the truth of the Gospel will be preached, not only on the battlefield but amongst those who have been displaced. Pray for labourers to rise and go for the harvest.

Starlink Internet

Elon Musk

Elon Musk to rescue

Business Insider reported that an Ukrainian government official tweeted at SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Saturday, asking for Starlink terminals.

Musk personally responded just hours later, saying Starlink internet is now active in Ukraine, and terminals are on their way. The Russian invasion has disrupted internet service for some Ukrainians.

SpaceX founder Musk tweeted on Saturday evening that the company’s Starlink satellite internet service “is now active in Ukraine” with “more terminals en route”.

Musk’s announcement came in direct response to a plea from a Ukrainian government official for more Starlink stations amid a Russian invasion that disrupted Ukraine’s internet services.

“While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!”

Mykhailo Fedorov, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine, tweeted at Musk earlier on Saturday. “We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”

While the Ukrainians desperately cry for this senseless war to stop and Putin to withdraw his troops Pastor Bakmutsky from Moscow said: “ Do not rush to judge others through the prism of your culture, situation, and conscience. Do not think of prayer as something insignificant or useless. For most of us, that’s all we have left.”

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