Back In Ukraine

So much for trying to find time to blog when I was in California!  That sure didn’t happen, but a lot of other stuff did!  I had no days to rest for about six of my eight weeks home!  I came back to Kyiv and slept 3 days!  Unusual for me, but I had a wonderful time and accomplished a lot.  I am thankful and grateful to everyone who shows such kindness and support to me.  I really appreciate it.

Since I hit the ground running when I returned to Ukraine, here’s an excerpt from my latest newsletter.  If you want to subscribe, you can do so in the right hand sidebar.

Today is Good Friday in the west. (We celebrate Easter here a week later in accordance with the Orthodox calendar.)  I woke up today to hear about Christians being killed in Africa and read about Russia gearing up for more battles in Ukraine this month when they will try to push the front lines farther into Ukrainian territory.  It’s hard not to let the bad news that is constantly being shown on TV  (or in Ukraine’s case, ignored) distract you from taking some time to focus on what Jesus did on the cross.  He died for this mess that we have in the world.  Sin is here and as long as this earth turns, we will see it invading our lives in ways we can’t understand, either crushing us from within or coming at us from others.

Many people have started to use the term, “first world problems.”  I am uncomfortable with this term. I feel it is somehow trying to make those who live in some parts of the world guilty for having so much material blessings and that their problems are not as important as others who live in more difficult places or have gone through more difficult things.  I think that every human has heartache when they pass through this world  no matter where they live.  I don’t think the perspective should not be on what the heartache is or  that it should be compared to see if it’s relevant to other cultures or people.

Whatever our heartaches, wherever we live, Jesus died for us and the sin in the world.  Keep your eyes on him this Good Friday and Easter.  Give him your heartaches and grief.  He carried those to the cross for you.

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