The view from inside

As I lay in bed tonight, trying to recover form a head cold and many hours on the road, I keep thinking over the past two weeks since I wrote a report. Everything seems a blur of activities and experiences, with about 7,000 kilometers on the road. As the Russians retreated, the doors of opportunity opened everywhere. Some of our team members left early for Chernihiv where they transported a patient with a broken hip to a hospital in Kiev. The other part of the team took 2 van loads of supplies to Demur. The destruction we drove through to get there was sickening. Only days before, the RF had occupied these places. We wove through burned and blown-up cars and war machinery, power lines laid across the road. Some folks were bravely hauling debris out of their front yards. Grim facial expressions greeted us everywhere. I kept wondering, why all this? Not to mention the thousands of fresh graves in every village cemetery. Many brave people offered the ultimate sacrifice defending their families and a little bit of soil they call home. Many young Russian soldiers died here, carrying out the orders of a selfish leader, fighting their distant relatives. 

We unloaded our supplies at a church house and had the privilege of meeting the crowd of dear suffering people, standing out in the cold wind, waiting to receive some food. I was asked to share a few words with them. Most of the crowd was in tears. After praying with them, they took turns hugging us and sobbing their heart-felt gratitude. We can only try to imagine the sorrow and terror these poor folks experienced in the last several weeks of war.

Seeing all the suffering firsthand and trying to share the pain with the people we meet, without allowing it to get us down, can be a challenge sometimes. We have to learn to take these burdens from the victims of war to the foot of the cross, so that we can face life again, with whatever it brings. I’d like to say thank you again to all of you who support this outreach with prayer and financial aid. May God reward you abundantly. 

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