In the Bible God promised to never leave nor forsake us. It is true. Sometimes we don’t realize what it really takes to keep us safe. Recently I was reminded of that when my neighbor from upstairs told me what happened last Friday night. Her name is Alexandra. She is married and has 4 children. They all live in a one-room apartment.
We live 7 km from Maidan (Independence Square) and during the clashes between protesters and police we didn’t see any smoke or hear any explosions. Sometimes the things that we don’t directly see, that are not taking place right outside of our windows tend to make us believe they don’t exist or don’t concern us. But in the reality of life, it is only God’s hand and grace that keeps us safe wherever we are each and every day.
On Friday night we heard a noise coming from outside that sounded like fireworks, but only a single bang. It was rather strange, because usually, fireworks come in a series of shots. In a few days we found out that it wasn’t fireworks, but a shooting outside of our windows. One bullet when through our upstairs neighbor’s window making a big hole, before getting stuck in the window frame (between the panes of glass). At first our neighbor thought that their kids were playing with marbles and dropped them from their bunk bed. They checked everywhere, but did not find any marbles or any other toys, and decided to put off any further investigation until the next morning. In the morning they found out that the window pane had a hole and later found a bullet. They were shocked, especially because the hole was next to their daughter’s bed.
Alexandra called the police, not to come and investigate (which would be difficult because there are few police officers left in the city) but to let them know that the proliferation of guns is not limited to Maidan only, but is spreading throughout the city, even in residential areas. Areas that were once considered safe – their own home – were no longer so. Together, everyone in our building is facing this new unsafe reality. Even fireworks, which are usually fun and the sound of celebration, have turned into the sound of danger and alert. We feel unsafe to let our kids go outside on their own. Our oldest son usually went to music school by himself. Right now my wife takes him just to make sure he makes it there and back home safely. Our public schools have encouraged parents to meet their kids after school. These days you don’t see children playing outside or walking alone. More than that you don’t see many adults walking down the streets after dark. People are scared. They are looking for protection.
In such times we can only trust God’s protection. The whole nation is involved in taking a stand for their rights and independence. We pray for peace, we pray for the safety of our children. We pray for God to intervene. It is hard to comprehend the tragedy and devastation that Ukrainians have gone through in the last two weeks. The country is restarting with a new government and will try to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and make the right choice for the future. All the churches in Ukraine are praying, believing in God’s protection, and asking for wisdom for the leaders.
Mission Partners International