My wife and I spent five of the most impactful years of our lives in Kyiv, Ukraine where we taught at Kyiv International School from 2003-2008. One of our children was born in Kyiv and our oldest daughter spent the first three years of her life in Kyiv, where she played daily with Ukrainian neighbourhood children and learned to speak Russian as quickly as English.
We worked closely with Ukrainian colleagues who warmly welcomed us to their country and helped us adjust to a lifestyle that was very foreign to us. They patiently taught us the language and helped us to negotiate better prices in the fruit and vegetable markets. I recall playing soccer with a Russian colleague, Pavel, who had relocated with his wife to Ukraine - a former fighter jet pilot in the Soviet military. Pavel would often choose me for his team - I think he liked my work ethic despite my relative lack of talent!
Ukraine holds a special place in our hearts - our Ukrainian friends and colleagues are dear to us and we worry for their safety. Recently, one told me by email that explosions were happening near his family’s apartment. Another friend was able to leave Ukraine but is terribly worried for her husband and extended family who were unable to leave with her. Some of her family members are taking shelter in a small, underground vegetable cellar.
Please join my family in praying for these people, for all who are suffering and impacted by this needless war.
We pray for peace and an end to the fighting, we pray for justice, we pray for hope and we pray for protection for the millions of innocent people who are at risk in this conflict.
During such times, we thank God for the freedoms we enjoy in Canada, which we too often take for granted, and we pray for Ukrainians as they defend their nation and freedoms.
As Christ-followers, we are a people called to love our neighbour and so we pray for all who suffer as a result of this war - Ukrainians, Russians, and others. We know there are ongoing conflicts in other parts of our world, and so we take this time to pray for all who are impacted by injustice and oppression in our hurting world, including here in Canada.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27