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In every act of evil, look closely and you will see someone showing up to do good. Some do good in the name of Jesus. All make a sacrifice. This is one such story of a young Ukrainian newlywed.

Light in Darkness

The church in Ukraine is responding in amazing ways to help their communities in the midst of the violent conflict in their nation. Ukrainian Christians are putting their lives on the line—some even sacrificing it all—to shine the light of Jesus Christ during this dark and violent time.

Franklin Graham tells the story of some of these brave men and women in a made for TV documentary. One church leader told Franklin, “It’s important not to run. For me, I want to run—but as a Christian I want to stay … to show people God’s love.”

Another worker said, “We try to pretend that we are strong, but we are deeply wounded. Extreme suffering. This will be with us for years.” Pain has a way of sifting out the fluff and elevating what is essential. Nowhere is that so apparent as the church in Ukraine. North Americans can learn a lot from believers in Ukraine. I have a lot to learn.

Young Love

Stanislav Hruntkovsky is one of the ministers in the Irpin Bible Church. He explains, “Before the war we assess the church by whether the sermons and worship were good. We based the efficiency of the church on the number of members and how many came to services. The war threw us in the epicenter of pain and we had no time to preach, to sing beautifully. We simply had to save people. To clothe and feed them and tell them about Christ in between.”

Pastor Hruntkovsky recently married a young couple from his church—Anatoly and Diana.

They helped families fleeing from other parts of Ukraine. Diana says her husband loved helping people all his life. “He was a light.”

At one point early in the war, Anatoly risked his life to help people cross a river on a bombed-out bridge. You probably watched footage of that bridge on TV.

That same day Anatoly was killed while helping a mother and her children.

Love is Purpose Over Preference

My role as a church coach is to help pastors, boards, and congregations think about their why. Hearing the story of Anatoly and seeing the behaviour of Ukrainian Christians is better than 100 webinars. They get it.

Trying to help Christians think purposefully about mission is not a lost cause. Men like Anatoly remind me that in prosperity or pain, unmistakable goodness is a light. Don’t curse the darkness, shine a light. Do what you can. Share what you have. Refuse to live at such a level that personal preference trumps everything God cares about. Resist evil.

It’s not fair that Anatoly died helping others. Don’t waste his pain. Don’t let evil win.

Watch the 30-minute video and hear Anatoly and Diana’s story at this link.

Don’t you want to do something good to help Ukraine? Bob is working with people across Canada to raise money for work in Ukraine. Read here how you be a supporter.

Please join the conversation and post a comment below.

Hope grows here.  We share stories that inspire people, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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