Martin | Slovakia | February | 2022
Dear Friends and Partners,
Evil is real! Russia has launched a war against Ukraine only because Ukraine wants to be a sovereign, democratic country. Jesus speaks of wars as signs of an end (Mark 13:5-37). This war in Ukraine has ended a period of peace in Europe. Russian’s invasion has ended illusions that the world’s largest country is govern by democratic and peace-seeking people. By this act of aggression, the Russian regime doomed itself to an end, as history proves of all similar aggressors.
What should we do? Jesus in Mark 13 tells us not to be alarmed and continue the ministry for His kingdom. The evil is real, but it must not stop the good. Here in neighboring Slovakia, we are ready to receive Ukrainian refugees and help Ukraine as much as we can. We are called to step out of our comfort zones and share what we have with our neighbors. In the Center for Christian Education, our school and our church in Martin, we have a history of mission projects with Ukraine. Now we are called to do much more: besides food and shelter, we must provide an environment where our sisters and brothers from Ukraine will rejuvenate their hopes by experiencing the love of Christ. This mission is a massive opportunity to use what we have been entrusted for God’s kingdom and His glory.
Please, pray for us to act with courage and love toward this goal. Please, pray especially for the leaders of all democratic countries to do their best to help Ukraine and stop this war. We know it eventually will end because Jesus’ coming ends all wars. And we know that He will come again, as He has promised. May this truth be our hope and comfort! Also, we thank God that Slovakia is part of NATO and EU so the war will most likely not spread to our country. However, we are exposed to a massive and sophisticated Russian propaganda massaging us to believe that their combat troops are peacekeepers. Therefore, now in our school we must emphasize critical thinking, teaching our students to distinguish between facts and falsehood. As part of this mission, we have organized a discussion with David Sivor who as a Slovak Jew experienced a similar hardship from Nazism. He and a part of his family escaped the Holocaust because of Bohdan’s grandfather’s help.
As Bohdan says: My grandfather was a true war hero, risking his life by saving lives of his neighbor like David. He has helped Slovak Jews, but also Russian and German soldiers who were in dire straits during the Second world war. Before that, as a Lutheran pastor, he was serving Americans in Pennsylvania during the Great depression, then he served for some years at one of the poorest regions of Ukraine. He did this because of his Christian faith working through love. David Sivor is a wonderful living testimony of this faith. Now the war in Ukraine is an opportunity to show our faith working through love. Now is my turn.
Dear friends and partners, the times are difficult, but this situation is not a novel for us. Such is the world between Jesus’s first and second coming. On the bright side, COVID is getting weaker and we can meet, gather, and be together again. Therefore, we are looking forward to this summer very much, hoping to resume all our mission activities with you, our American partners. We need to see each other face to face encouraging each other in our faith.
Moreover, because of the present war, we will most likely see also new faces of Ukrainian children and adults in our VBS, EFL and other activities. Let us enlarge our tents and our hearts so they can also experience the love of Christ through this ministry. They face persecution with such a courage that, in return, they can help us to appreciate Jesus’ words: “In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
If you want to use the CCE contacts to help Ukraine, donate money as usual with the memo “Ukraine”. We will keep you informed how the money is used.
Yours in His service,
Adrian Kacian, Director of Development Bohdan Hroboň, president of CCE
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