A Call to Prayer…
Six years ago, I suggested to Children to Love that perhaps Ukraine was the next place for a partnership, and hardly anyone knew much about Ukraine or where it was located. Many have confused it with being a part of Russia, but they are different cultures with a different language. Ukrainians are more European.
Now it seems like everyone knows about Ukraine… but unfortunately people now know about the country because of the danger from its Russian neighbor. Ukraine is dangerously close to losing its independence to an aggressive and hegemonistic Russia, who does not want Ukraine to align itself with the West.
Ukrainian independence was paid for in blood when more than 100 Ukrainian patriots were killed in the main square in Kiev in 2014 on the orders of the previous pro-Russian President (Yankovich). I was there during the revolution in Kiev in December 2013, and it was then that I learned to love the country, the people, the culture, and their spirit. The Lord was to lead me back to Ukraine three years later to assess a potential Children to Love (CTL) partnership in Lviv.
In 2017, CTL began its partnership with a wonderful group of people running an organization called Future for Children (FFC). In a period of five short years, the Ukraine team has grown to include teachers, psychologists, and social workers, and I am blessed to also be a part of this team. Many children and parents have been taught, mentored, loved, and have heard the gospel. Several camps have been held with support from our US partners and supporters.
Russia has been at war with Ukraine for seven years now. Through this time, FFC has continued its work and even supported projects near the conflict in the Eastern side of the country. The current FFC Director, and the children of the orphanage she previously managed, were forced to leave Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 because of the war. So now the war is at our doorstep once again.
Our FFC staff, like all other Ukrainians, are worried about what will happen next, but we know that children’s and family’s needs continue despite the circumstances around them. Our dedicated staff continues their work and maintains a normal routine, trusting in God that all will work out in the end. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)…
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine, for their country and safety and that our staff can continue to serve the children and families we love so much.
- Armando Gonzalez, Ukraine ministry liaison and friend of CTL