Wednesday, February 29, 2014
Ukraine In Turmoil
Our children gaped in wide-eyed amazement out the window of our van as we drove past the regional government building in the city of Zaporozhye a few days ago. Rows of riot police stood with gleaming metal shields to defend against any possible protests like the ones days before that had turned violent. Although we are far from the Ukrainian capital, the reverberations of unrest had begun to spread.
As you have probably noticed in the news, this nation is on the very brink of exploding into complete political and economic chaos. Yesterday (Feb. 19), at least 25 more people were killed in violent protests and clashes that looked, at times, like open warfare on the streets of the capital, Kyiv. Even as I write, thousands of Ukrainians, angry at the the Russian-backed president for breaking his promise to discuss revisions to the constitution in parliament, are surrounded by an army of riot police who are tightening in around Independence Square. The president has vowed to disperse the opposition and drive them out of the center of Kyiv, but they have built barricades and fires and are trying to hold the police at bay with homemade weapons. Other regions of Ukraine are also erupting with riots and the nation is splintering between the European and American-supporting western half and the pro-Russian eastern half.
The area where we live is still peaceful at this time and we are in no danger but we ask for your fervent prayers for peace in Ukraine. As we pray with our Ukrainian Christians friends we are asking God to use this instability to cause people to humble themselves and turn to the Prince of Peace - the only One who can bring lasting answers and hope to this nation.