Following a Different Master

From Marie John and friends serving with YWAM Kyiv

The sky has been silent for the last two days. But there is no relief. It is a scary silence.

It’s a silence filled with images from the liberated villages north of Kyiv. Now the whole world knows Irpen, Bucha, Borodyanka.

It’s a silence filled with the misery of those left behind. We were shocked at the sight of an elderly home we visit regularly. 25 new people, all thrown into a single room, on matrasses on the floor, without bedding, without anything except the clothes they wore.

The sight, the smell, the desperation. It would be so easy to just drop off the groceries, turn your back, and leave. We know they have parasites. Every time we return home we check each other’s heads. Welcome to the new reality of ministry in a war zone.

But we are following a different master. Not our human instincts. When this master touched any uncleanness, it did not infect him; but his holiness healed everything unclean. I believe the same power is resting on us. So as we walk into the room, I remember my husband’s stories from ministering in a leprosy colony in India. About the smell, the abhorrent sight.

My friend starts to sing. I and the other girl go around and sit with the elderly; talk with those who can, feed those who can’t help themselves. All of their stories start with, “my daughter left Kyiv, and she could not take me”. “The younger generation needs to live their lives, I already lived mine”. “They had no place to put me, so they dropped me here”. It is heartbreaking. There are so many new people, that they have their names written on their arms with black markers.

Song after song we feel how God’s presence is filling the room. We feel a change. People’s bitter and painful faces ease a bit.

This is all we can do for today. Tomorrow, we will go to the store and pack food bags for the survivors of Bucha. One day at a time. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27