Please join us as we pray earnestly for Ukraine.
A Message From Evan Hunter, Vice President
On Sunday, Feb. 20, a team from ScholarLeaders landed in Chisinau, Moldova, preparing for what was supposed to be 10 days of meetings with 6 schools from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan (for the Vital SustainAbility Initiative). By the morning of the 24th, the world had changed. As Russian forces attacked Ukraine, these schools turned from long-term strategic planning to immediate survival.
After the airport in Moldova closed on Wednesday, I traveled through Romania to return to the U.S. Leaders from one of the Russian schools remain stranded in Moldova, unsure when the airport will reopen or if they can get visas to go home by another route. Taras Dyatlik, Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Overseas Council and a partner with us on VSI, returned to Ukraine by road to be with his family and help however he can.
The war continues to evolve as Russian forces advance. On Thursday, February 25th, Taras described conditions as follows:
“All the territory of Ukraine has been under severe shelling with missiles since 5 a.m. Shelling has been going on for at least 7 or 8 hours. Then the ground operation started with Russian tanks, helicopters, fighters, and bombers. Russia launched attacks on key Ukrainian cities. Russians captured the Chernobyl nuclear plant. Shelling targeted airfields, military depots, and infrastructure, with hundreds of civilians and Ukrainian soldiers killed.” (You can follow the BBC Live news feed for up-to-the-moment details.)
The following prayer requests are from Taras in Ukraine.
PRAYER REQUESTS FROM TARAS DYATLIK
- As Ukraine announced total mobilization of all men ages 18-60, many seminary students, alumni, and faculty are being called to serve in the army and participate in combat. (No male 18-60 can leave the country.) Please pray for them and their families. I have 5 younger brothers (one abroad) and a son.
- Please pray for our wives. When I talked to my wife, Natasha, about evacuation, she told me, “I will be with you to the very end.” Many wives refuse to leave their husbands and sons.
- Please pray for seminary leaders in Ukraine as they scramble to lead their communities in this crisis. One seminary has sheltered dozens of people from the bombardment in the basements of their buildings. Two schools have evacuated. Those who evacuate must take documents and valuables but leave everything else behind; their homes and campuses will likely be occupied and looted after they leave.
- Please pray for the seminaries outside Ukraine that are receiving refugees. Since we left Moldova, University Divitia Gratiae, where we were staying, has received 15 refugees.
- Please pray for the truth. This is not “a situation” on which one “gives a perspective.” What is going on right now last happened on Sept. 1, 1939 and Jun. 22, 1941. We live in Ukraine: not in “the situation” but in a brutal war in the 21st century on the European continent, in a country with a population of about 40 million. We did not invite this war. The Kremlin and Vladimir Putin brought it to Ukraine. We must make a moral evaluation of acts of aggression like this. For example, you cannot ask a Jewish rabbi during World War II for “a Jewish perspective” on “the situation” as Nazis burn Jews in concentration camps; you cannot then turn and ask a German, pro-Hitler pastor for a “German perspective” “in order to hear all voices and identify the truth.” These acts have Biblical definitions and a Biblical evaluation. Pray for spiritual discernment.
- Please pray that Russian Christians would raise their prayers and voices toward the Russian government to stop the aggression. Pray that they would not keep silent. Pray for Western governments to act as well.
- Please pray for Ukrainian Christians. Pray that we will live as a community of hope, that during these terrible times we would invite more and more people into relationship with God and His children, into relationships of love, hope, encouragement, and support. Pray that our minds and characters would continue to transform into the character of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for your prayers.
The ScholarLeaders Team