Hope springs eternal in Ukraine

By February 24, 2014
(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)

(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)

UPDATE: Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov saysFormer President Viktor Yanukovych is wanted for “mass killings of civilians.”  An arrest warrant has been issued, but thus far, Yanukovych remains in hiding.

Meanwhile,the Parliament voted to oust Yanukovych, and appointed seasoned lawmaker Oleksandr Turchinov as a new speaker who will take on Yanukovych’s duties until new elections in May.

However, as Ukraine tries to reshape its political landscape, the rifts still need to be healed.

Ukraine (MNN) – The big question mark going into the weekend was: will Ukraine’s peace deal hold for the next few days?

Now, it’s how fast can things move forward? Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said Friday he would call early presidential elections in a bid to put an end to bloody street battles that have left at least 80 people dead this week in Kiev.

This new peace is  fragile. “People are really hoping that in the next couple of days, they will reach the full agreement, stopping the violence, and that peace will be restored”, says Russian Ministries president, Sergey Rakhuba. Will it hold?  “There’s always a risk because the government broke their word before, many times. But also, we have to understand that in the crowd, there are many radicals that don’t really follow any rules and don’t follow any side. They just want to provoke violence and fight.”

The next step is the presidential election. There’s no time frame. Rakhuba explains what’s at stake. “They are arguing now about restoring the constitution of 2004, because in 2010, President Yanukovych, when he took over the office, he applied those changes, so he basically took all the power into his own hands.”

(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)

(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)

RMI has a field office in Kiev that had to close its doors for a while. Several conferences were cancelled, as well as some training events. Some operations have resumed, but everyone is a little on edge.

Rakhuba explains, “They’re almost on the front line. There’s lots of anxiety, there’s lots of concern, but all of them are involved, to a certain degree, through their churches, in some of the events organized to mobilize churches to be involved in helping the injured and distributing the Scripture.”

(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)

(Photo courtesy Russian Ministries)

Even though their original plans went awry, Rakhuba says, “We’re refocusing and already kind of regrouped so that we’re reaching churches and trying to encourage them, especially in Kiev, to get involved in reconciliation ministry so that the Church will play the major role in all of this, will bring the light into a divided and broken society.”

In an urgent plea on his Facebook page, Rakhuba noted three ways they need your help:

Pray: Please pray for God’s intervention, protection, hope, and comfort, especially for those who have lost loved ones on both sides of the conflict. Some of our closest friends have lost family members. Please also pray for healing and reconciliation for Ukraine, which only God can do!

Emergency Fund: We are starting an emergency fund to provide practical help for those affected by the violence in Ukraine. Evangelical and Orthodox churches in Kiev have already opened their doors to care for the wounded and provide shelter for families who were forced to leave their homes because of the violence. We are asking for resources to help provide food (which is in short supply), medical assistance for the wounded, and support for those who have already lost loved ones. Please consider helping.

Scripture/Gospel of Luke: The Word of God is the most reliable source for faith, help, and healing. I firmly believe that desperate times cause people to think about their own faith and to open their hearts to God. For this reason, we have decided to print another 200,000 copies of the Gospel of Luke in the Ukrainian language that will contain prayers for salvation, comfort for families, healing for the nation, and hope for peace. Please consider providing copies of God’s Word for this hurting nation.

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