After some hours of good sleep, we said goodbye to our incredible hosts, Maciek & Jakub. We then headed back to the west. We had a lot to think about and during the trip we chatted about the things we encountered. It was great to see how Slavic Mission still grows in its role as a distribution centre of faith and aid. Some Ukrainians learnt English. Some people who were quite shy the last time now stepped up as leaders.
On our side, I could see growth as well. The briefing beforehand was spot on, thanks Captain Jo-ine! We had almost no expenses because we could stay with Maciek and Jakub. We spent our budget wisely in Poland where things are cheaper. We had daily devotionals prepared which helped a lot with keeping our heads in the right game. Thanks Babak and Christiaan! It is great being so practical as God's hands and feet.
Looking back, there was something so captivating and impactful about what the Ukrainian elders shared with us on Saturday evening around the dinner table. We went to serve and bless them, but their faith has blessed us so much more!
What was it about these Christians that was so…. beautiful? I think that is what faith looks like that has been through the furnace. It is beautifully pure and refined faith, like shining pure and refined gold, rid of many impurities. These people have in their trials, losses, suffering and persecution as Christians, burnt away all the la-dee-da “stuff” about pop-Christianity. They are living the real deal. They speak it, live it, share it - and we could see it.
Please, pray for Slavic Mission, New Hope and the Ukrainian people. They need God's hand in this like nothing else! They need strengthening and supportive relationships, they need hands, rest, more faith and the capacity to love, serve and reach out. Maxim told us that they mainly need 3 things: Prayer, Prayer and… yes, Prayer.