We were in Ukraine for over a month, but that country has never left our hearts. Flying there the first time, our family was a bundle of excitement and nerves about going to a country we'd never been to, where we didn't speak the language, and where we hoped to adopt a child. Once we set foot in Ukraine, we were overwhelmed by the city of Kyiv. Like Lucy when she first entered the wardrobe and found herself in Narnia, when our family went through that simple, bluish-gray door to the SDA office, our world was forever changed.
That time we were there, together as a family, was some of the happiest we have experienced as a family. We grew closer as a family because we were who we spent most of our time with 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. When we speak of Kyiv and of Ukraine, it is with love and fond memories. We have often talked of returning when Cava is older so that he can see more of the country he came from and to see how truly beautiful it is.
Ever since the protests began in November, our family has followed the news coming from Ukraine so closely on-line, as our news media only began truly covering the events of this week. As we have watched things deteriorate and the violence escalate, our hearts have been broken by what we have read, seen, and heard. The streets we once walked and enjoyed are now being described as "apocalyptic."
This is a city we associate with our son and how he came into our family. We think of those streets in terms of what part of the process we were in with regards to adopting Cava. While we were there, we did a lot of walking and loved taking in such magnificent sights as St. Michael's Cathedral, whose bells ring now as a rallying call to all who are protesting, as well as a call to God.
Ever since the protests began, our family has prayed daily for Ukraine. We have prayed for its peace and its people. We have prayed for those families we met while we were there as well as for families traveling there to adopt. We have prayed that the world would take notice of this country and what was happening there, and to act on behalf of the people of Ukraine. Jesus told us, "Blessed are the peacemakers." We pray for their government to seek peace and not violence and repression against its own people.
We pray for those Christians who live there to be a light on a hill that shines for Christ. May they walk as examples of His love, even towards those who would do harm to them. We pray that these Christians seek God for wisdom, for peace, for guidance and direction. We pray that they would help lead their country to doing the same, for there is no peace without Jesus.
We pray for those who have lost loved ones due to the violence. We pray that God would comfort them amidst their sorrow and pain.
We pray for protection of the innocent, that they not suffer violence at the hands of paid thugs.
We pray for justice to rain down from heaven on this country, that those who are unjustly and falsely accused will see the truth come to light. That those who would seek to do harm would be brought to justice.
We pray that those in power will no longer use it as a way to oppress the people of Ukraine.
We pray that more will stand up against corruption and injustice in all of its forms. We pray that all of those in office will use their position for good and not evil, whether they be in small towns or in high office.
Every day, many times a day, we pray for Ukraine, for the homeland of our son. We hope that you will join us in praying for them and for those families who are there, in-country, adopting, those who are waiting to travel there to bring their adopted children home, or those who are waiting to travel there to adopt a child or children. Pray for peace.
As Saint Francis prayed:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
To know and understand more about what's going on in Ukraine, go to the following links:
Radio Free Europe: