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One Radstock partner in Kiev shares how we can pray for the Ukrainian church following the ousting of Victor Yanukovych and in the midst of the conflict over Crimea.
Ukraine commonly ranks in the top ten most corrupt countries on the Transparency International List, alongside many African countries. Corruption has come to be reason number one for the frustration of the people, and job number one now that the government has been removed.
Democracies run on trust, and right now Ukraine is in the business of building it. Trust between the government and the people, the business community and the people, and between the church and the people as well. Over the many years of Ukraine’s struggle with corruption trust has eroded, and many have turned cynical. There is a general feeling that anyone in any position of authority is in it for themselves, with selfish motives, not to serve the people, and therefore not to be trusted.
It is much easier for an opposition group to come together against something than it is for everyone, when that thing is removed, to decide on a way forward. That is our situation in Kiev now. May Ukraine prosper under a just and fair government for many, many years to come. However, I am sure that there will be disappointments in the long term, and the near, future.
This is where the church comes in. The church now has a big role to fill as the country slowly (hopefully) begins to calm down and clean up. Just as people are most receptive to grace when broken, so goes for the country as well. Ukraine is broken now. We have hundreds dead, we have maybe a thousand wounded, we have a burned-out center in place of our downtown, we have daily inflation and we have lots fewer cobblestones than we started with.
Ukraine is broken and needs renewal that comes as we seek the mercy and grace provided by Christ. Please pray that the church will fill this need, and now meet it in a more specific way, through service to the community, cleaning up the city, writing and thinking with others about the concept of true justice -- something that Ukrainians have been seeking -- and through preaching the Word.
I pray that the country would build trust on the foundation of trust in God. The Old Testament is full of references of times when the people of God trusted in the wrong things, be they riches, idols, or themselves. Let’s pray that Ukraine will trust in the One who never betrays it.