A Brief Dispatch from Europe on Ukraine

A Spectrum reader in Germany sent over this short update from her perspective on what happening in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11671

i’ve been praying for an end to this war for well over a week now, as soon as it became clear to me that it was Putin’s plan…in fact i’m praying for the demise of both Putin and Russia as a superpower…my feeling is that god is preparing a home for us in heaven, but in the here and now, the brave Ukranian people are suffering a most unjust war, and all of us are under non-stop anxiety over what will happen next…

god is well able to bring an end to this war, to Putin and to Russia, and because he can, he should…

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This situation shows me that there is a big disconnect (always has been) between power hungry politicians/strongmen and their general publics. I believe most inhabitants of our dearly beloved planet just want to live a peaceful life, to raise their children in safety, to have a reasonably sustainful job, to have caring family and friends, and a peaceful passage at the end. And for believers, Jesus’ welcome one day. Praying for Ukraine, Russia and all their neighbors.


Moving away from fossil fuels is needed to combat climate change. A Physics principal called latent heat……Takes nearly 80x as much energy to convert 0 deg C ice to 0 deg C water but only 1x the energy to raise same amount of water 1 deg C. Look at the loss of ice in the arctic just since the 80’s. The Earth has been absorbing a tremendous amount of extra energy. Once the ice is gone….

If we weren’t dependent on fossil fuels we wouldn’t be beholden and inadvertently supporting Putin and his oligarchs (amongst others) thru purchasing these resources.

The US has been fomenting this war for a while. Using Schismatics and the controlled Patriarchate of Constantinople to seize the property of the canonical Church in Ukraine and lead away the faithful was only one part of that. Thank God Putin is now coming to the defense of the faithful in the Donbass, who have been genocide by the US backed regime for so long.

I am praying for the safety and wellbeing of the Ukranian people. I can’t help but think back at some of the “religious leaders” such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson publically acknowledging that they were praying for some of the liberal justices on the supreme court to die so they could put anti-abortion justices on the court. I have nothing good to say about any of these gentlemen and I doubt that they are held with any particular favor by God. Why couldn’t they now, put Putin on their list. (Tongue in cheek). I know that Jerry Falwell will no longer be able to pray that prayer, and his son has resigned in disgrace, and, of course, it is a ridiculous statement, I must admit. But I am so upset with the evil that Putin has perpetrated, and being so helpless to stop his aggression, it would seem reasonable to ask God to intervene. God can see fit to do whatever he wants with this evil man, if that means taking him out…so be it.

Thank you for the brief report, giving a glimpse of the European perspective.

Please understand:

  1. ADRA Germany is very active, working hard in cooperation with ADRA Europe, especially ADRA Poland to coordinate refugee work. (www.adra.de)
  2. Friedensau Adventist University has made particular efforts to take in refugees from the Ukranian Adventist Center of Higher Education (UACHE) which has been evacuated just after the war began (and which since has been damaged by Russian attacks). That is a project between the two sister institutions … obviously in close consultation with ADRA.
  3. We know that male students and staff will not be able to leave the Ukraine (or only under difficulties) - but we support efforts to get males from UACHE to Friedensau as well.
  4. In 2015 a refugee network of ADRA, SDA church, AWW (German Adventist Welfare) and Friedensau Adventist University was started in Germany. This has been reactivated to coordinate the various efforts.
  5. Financial support is best given through ADRA.

More - as news develop.

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I agree that God is well able to bring an end to this war and it is totally human for us to pray that he would do just that and NOW please. However, who are we to tell God what he should do because he could? I was tempted to pray just like you. Then I heard Jesus say ‘love your enemies … .’ It’s so easy to read that and much harder to practice. My prayer is not only for Adventists and people in the Ukraine I know, but also for Presidents Zelenski to know that God is with him no matter what; and, knowing that God works with everyone to the very end of our lives, that Putin would yield to him. I talked with him about the story of Elijah (Elisha?) who prayed God would show his servant that there were more (angels) fighting for Israel than there were in the enemy army and, like you, that it would be a little thing for him to route Putin’s army. In the end though, I acknowledged that he is God and I am not, that his thoughts and his ways are not like ours, that I trust that in the end he will help us understand all our why’s; and most of all that all refugees and all helpers around the world would somehow know that he is with each one of us. There was a time in my life, where for 12 years I quarrelled with God. One day in my devotion, I came across the verse that says: “Be still and KNOW that I AM GOD …” I was shocked, but contemplated the verse for a long while. It was as if I heard his voice like that of a loving father saying in a kind voice: 'I’ve listened to you for many years, and I would like now to say something to you. I listened, and though it’s taken many years and many lessons, I’m much quicker now to realize that he IS God and I am not. He’s thought me through the toughest times that he is always with me, will always listen to me, and answer my prayers for more endurance, more energy, more trust in him and his promise. We live in very challenging times! In the end though, we’ll know we’re loved beyond our imagination and understanding and he is helping us all to keep going on and on, sometimes one breath at a time.

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one thing i keep in mind is an egw statement that i’ve thought about a lot:

“It is a part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask.” GC:525.

what this says to me is that god wants us to tell him what we want, and to pray according to what we see and think is best…he’s not only interested in us listening to him so that he can tell us what he wants…he wants us to tell him what we want so that he can listen to us…he wants us to have an active input in what he decides to do…god has his overall plans which he puts into place because he has the purpose of bringing repentance and blessing to as many people as possible, yes…but it is part of that plan to do what he wouldn’t normally do unless we ask…his overall plans allow for diversions from those plans if we ask for them…who knows how many things he’s not doing because people aren’t asking him to…

i think this represents an enormous opportunity…we have a standing invitation to shape, not only our own lives, but the world all around us…of course we can’t expect god to give us everything we want just because we want it…we’re genetically flawed…what we want isn’t always for our own good, let alone anyone else’s, even if we sincerely think it is…but the point is, we can’t know that god won’t give us something we ask unless we ask him…

i see no harm in praying for big things, like ending the war in Ukraine, and bringing about the end of both Putin and Russia…i know that god can do all these big things and much, much more, but i can’t know whether he’s waiting for me to ask him to do them before he does them…it may be that he won’t do these things purely because i haven’t asked him to, and that he will do them if i do…

there are so many times that jesus tells us to be like a little child…well, most little children i know are all about what they want…they’re not usually interested in what you want…they’re only into what they want…and when they sense there’s the possibility of getting what they want, they’re all the more earnest…they press their little requests as hard as they can, making everything seem like disaster unless they get their way…who’s ever heard of a little kid just sitting there, and setting aside what he wants, in order to listen only to you, and accept only what you decide he should have…

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