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Unsplash: Johann Walter Bantz

From the Coordinator: In the Midst of the Suffering

At the time of this writing, over 3 million people have fled Ukraine and almost 2 mil­lion are internally displaced within. Most of these are women and children. Can you imagine how the children are processing these experiences?

I am reminded of stories my parents would tell me when they fled the encroaching North Korean army coming through Seoul in the early 1950s. They were just children at the time. My dad remembers being about 9 years old carrying a large sack of rice on his back: walking, crying, confused, and afraid. When my father saw pictures of Ukrainian kids crying as they were evacuat­ing their cities, he saw himself. Can you imagine the effect this will have on a whole generation of Ukrainian children? Their parents? The nation?

And yet in all this horror, we see Jesus. He is present in the midst of the suffering. We see Jesus walking along­side crying children, comforting them, wiping away their tears. We see Jesus min­istering to His flock still living in Ukraine in bombed-out cities, encouraging them with His Word, and praying over them. We see Jesus in the refugee camps, feeding those who are hungry, clothing those who are cold, sheltering those who are home­less. Jesus is in the midst of all the suffering bringing hope, comfort, and His presence.

How is He there? He is there through His Holy Spirit working through His saints, the Church. He is there in believ­ing parents who are comforting their chil­dren. He is there in Ukrainian pastors who have stayed to minister to their remaining flock. He is there in Polish, Romanian, and other believers and missionaries who are serving the countless refugees pouring into their countries. Jesus is there in the midst of this suffering, proclaiming His gospel in both word and deed. And Jesus, by His Spirit, is also providing for the needs of those suffering through you, the Church, through your prayers and giving. This is the Church at its best. The light of Christ shines most brightly in the midst of darkness.

We give thanks to God for you and your partnership in the gospel. Your prayers and giving are mobilizing an army of God’s people to respond to this tragedy with gospel love, grace, and kindness. May God continue to demonstrate His presence and power through His saints, the Church.

Lloyd Kim, Reflection Apr 26, 2022
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