Today, a case of new books arrived at my front door.
The first time author is my husband. The book, Rescuing Ukrainian Children.
I wonder how many of us knew much about this country before the 2014 Winter Olympics?
In our home, Ukraine became a very real place, with real people, when our teenagers traveled there in 2004, and again in 2006.
Our youth pastor, fabulous at teaching and giving our kids opportunities to reach out and serve others, traveled to Kiev with small groups of our teens. There, they served and cared for children who had previously lived on the street because of abuse and abandonment. They primarily worked with a ministry called, The Father's House.
My kids lives were forever changed by these trips. Even now, years later, they have a special love and affection for Ukraine and it's people.
Last summer, much to our surprise, my husband felt God's call to join a team that would travel to Kiev and visit several ministries there. He wasn't even sure "why" he was going. But, he knew he was to accompany his friend, Bruce, the founder of The Children's Rescue Center, and others on this outreach.
An avid, amateur photographer, my husband took his Nikon camera. Then, asking many questions and with careful observation, he kept detailed notes of the places they went, the people they met, and the children they served.
Like my children, my husband's life was forever changed by the ministries and people of Ukraine. He blogged about his trip and shared his photos. Then, with much support and encouragement from Bruce and others, he worked long hours to edit them into a book.
Once the book was published, we hoped to share with others about the children and workers in Ukraine. Never could we have imagined how timely the book would be in light of current events. Or, how great the need would become, now more than ever, to support and encourage these precious children and those who sacrifice so much to serve them.
Even now, amidst the instability and uncertainly in Ukraine, my husband and Bruce will return to visit and encourage the workers and children in Kiev. Although, it would seem natural to worry, we have a deep assurance and peace about this trip. Plus, we gain great comfort from truths in the Bible, like Daniel 5:23d, "honor...God who holds in His hand your life and all your ways."
Thirty-one years ago, my husband and I began our life together. Since then, the Lord has taken us on a journey far different than anything we originally dreamed or planned. Our family traveling to Ukraine multiple times, my husband writing a book, and now returning to a country at risk of war, was never on our radar screen. But, we have learned over the years, to go where God leads. At times it has been hard and costly, but looking back we have no regrets.
As I close, I would like to ask, would you pray for this trip, Ukraine, the rescued children, and the weary workers who serve tirelessly? Would you consider purchasing and sharing the book, Rescuing Ukrainian Children? (The net proceeds will go to support the ongoing ministry there.) Finally, do you have room on your "radar screen" for the course adjustments God is calling you to make? I encourage you to make room. You will be pleasantly surprised!