Monday, July 14, 2014

Living in a Country at War

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine Ukraine at war.  Ukrainians are a peaceful people.  In fact, one of my greatest frustrations over the years has actually been their passivity.  Coming from a culture of "pull yourself up by your bootstraps", I couldn't understand why the Ukrainian people seemed content to be the doormat of corrupt officials in every realm of life.  Talk about dysfunction!  I wondered what it would take for Ukrainians to stand up for themselves.

Then it happened, the "Revolution of Dignity," and I was dumbfounded.  They actually had had enough and were not going to take it anymore.  I couldn't have been prouder of Ukrainians than I was back in February.   Knowing that it took huge courage and a defiance of hundreds of years of culturally-ingrained passivity, what the Ukrainians accomplished on Maidan is a testimony to their strength, unity, and deep-rooted desire to live in a country that values transparency, justice, and the opportunity to pursue a better life.

Ukrainians want to live peacefully with one another and with their neighbors.  They don't go looking for trouble.  That's why what happened on Maidan is not what is happening in the East.  Countless evidence proves that the war raging in the regions of Dontesk and Lughansk is due to the direct influence of Russians.  There are multiple theories and explanations as to why Putin does not want to see Ukraine prosper under European-values.  It's complicated and I'm not about to get into that.

So, here we are.  A successful revolution behind us and a war before us.  Reports are becoming, once again, increasingly alarming with rumors (or more than rumors) of an "invasion" by Russian forces, perhaps under the guise of a "peace-keeping mission".  What does it mean for us living in Kyiv?

Up to now we haven't been impacted by the unrest in the east.  Our lives have settled back into normal.  Our evacuation box has been unpacked.  I haven't been obsessed with reading the news or trying to guess Putin's next moves. I started feeling comfortable with planning for the foreseeable future. Concern that school would close its doors or that we would be forced to live somewhere else has ceased. I am tired of those scenarios.  I'm tired of uncertainty.

But the future of Ukraine is far from certain.  Destruction and death have already devastated much of the eastern part of Ukraine.  Tens of thousands of people have fled.  How far will it spread? When will it end?  How can peace be restored? Will this war soon effect us personally?

"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; 
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, 
when they carry out their wicked schemes....
The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; 
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.  
The LORD helps them and delivers them; 
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, 
because they take refuge in him." 
- Psalm 37:7,39-40

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for giving voice to the uncertainty many of us have been living through. The Lord is indeed our refuge. May He give us wisdom and strength to share with those who are suffering even more than we!