Charlotte Bruneau with REUTERS filed a report today about living in a shattered Ukraine after two years of war.  Even in the Village of Lozuvatka, located about 217 miles southeast of Kyiv and about 60 miles from the frontlines, signs are everywhere of a two-year-old war that has irrevocably changed the face of Ukraine.

Wives have become widows, parents long for captured sons, classrooms are empty and farmers can’t find the hands to work the land.  Unlikely friendships have formed; old ones have fallen apart.  Mounds of freshly dug earth are often marked by simple wooden crosses, with photographs of the dead, flowers and Ukrainian flags.

A United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (“UNICEF”) report from August 2023 indicated that only about a third of Ukrainian school-aged children attended classes in person, with more than 1,300 schools having been completely destroyed – as reported by REUTERS HERE.

The scale of Ukraine’s military casualties is a closely-guarded state secret, but Western officials estimate that tens of thousands have been killed and many more wounded, as the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion and continuing attacks upon the country, February 24, 2022, approaches.

The REUTERS report may be read in full HERE.

My brothers and sisters, with all of the worldwide geopolitical issues and wars ongoing – not to mention all of the accompanying political finger wagging, gamesmanship and power-seeking, it’s far too easy to forget the actual impacts on human lives!

Here in the United States, we get exceedingly frustrated if our electricity goes out for 20 minutes.  If we take a step back from the politics and imagine (or better yet, pray) about the fate facing thousands and thousands of now-fatherless and destitute Ukrainians, it becomes a matter of tears when we consider the destruction of life and loved ones facing those in much of Ukraine.

The human heart can be evil, as evidenced by political and governmental leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin – a former Soviet-era KGB operative who has no respect for life, but seeks power and geopolitical dominance for its own sake.

As believers, let’s continue to pray for both the Ukrainian people and the Russian people (who did not cause this situation, but have lost thousands of their children to this ongoing, evil and unprovoked war).  Let’s also pray that President Putin is convicted by God Almighty and relents – or in the alternative, that he is peaceably removed from power and replaced with a leader who fears God and does not suffer from an apparent blood lust for dictatorial power.

The solution is to see others as children of God, to walk in love, and to operate civil governments in line with the wisdom of God, not the wisdom of the world – where the human heart and its unbridled emotions so easily run amok!

Here are some supporting scriptures:

Isaiah 5:20 (NKJV)
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; [w]ho put darkness for light, and light for darkness; [w]ho put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Proverbs 12:20 (NKJV)
“Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, [b]ut counselors of peace have joy.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, [a]nd lean not on your own understanding; [i]n all your ways acknowledge Him, [a]nd He shall direct your paths.”

Psalm 68:5 (NKJV)
“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.”

1 Corinthians 3:19 (NLT)
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.  As the Scriptures say, ‘He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.’”

Praise Jesus forevermore!

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