An urgent prayer request from Yaroslav Hetman, Senior Director of Neighbor Innovation at Compassion International … #Ukraine #PrayForUkraine
My whole world came to a halt the moment I read the news of Russia’s invasion of my homeland. I scrambled for my phone to contact friends and family in Kyiv and southwest Ukraine, praying that they were safe. Tears filled my eyes as I thought of my niece — the child I held in my arms when she was just a baby. A temporary sense of relief washed over me when I received word, one-by-one, that each person I know was safe — for now.
Since that night, I’ve spent every waking moment staying in touch with my loved ones. While I was on a call with one of my relatives recently, I heard a massive explosion in the background. A missile had struck close to his home! After a moment, he just shrugged it off and said, “We have food and water. My son has it much harder on the frontlines as a soldier.” The new reality Ukrainians are facing every day is a nightmare.
My name is Yaroslav. I was born in Ukraine and moved to the United States when I was 9 years old. God’s plan for me included working at Compassion International, advocating for the most vulnerable children around the world. Over the past couple of weeks, the most vulnerable on my heart have been those in my very own country. Every time there is conflict in the world, no one suffers more than babies, children and the poor.
Just a few short weeks ago, Ukrainian children were going to school, playing in parks and attending birthday parties. Now, these same children are sheltered in cellars and bomb shelters, huddled next to strangers on piles of blankets, just trying to survive. In between air raid sirens, their mothers risk their lives to venture above ground to find the next meal for their children. Many of their fathers are doing everything they can to defend them, at times getting on their knees in front of tanks. It is impossible to express the amount of fear and trauma that these kids are experiencing every moment of the day.
My heart is broken, but I don’t have time to mourn. I am choosing instead to do everything I possibly can to save my people, especially the children in Ukraine.
Every night at 8 p.m., children settle in with their caretakers in cold metro stations, cellars and bomb shelters. The curfew begins and will last until the early morning hours. The nights are long and frightening. If you are reading this, would you consider setting a reminder to pray for these children at the start of their 8 p.m. curfew? A quick internet search can assist you with calculating the current time in Kyiv. Can you imagine the power of millions of people praying at the same time for the most vulnerable in the Ukraine?
Pray for children who are in hospitals receiving critical care. Pray that children would be spared from the strikes in civilian areas. Pray that children would have access to food and water. Pray that the peace of God that transcends all understanding would guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, NIV). If you struggle with knowing how to pray, we offer these prayers for children in the conflict to assist you as you go to God on our behalf.
There is no question — Ukraine will stand up for itself. Ukrainians — my family members — are resolved and resilient. My prayer is that resolution would come quickly. Our children are the ones suffering without a choice. They are the ones who will carry the impact of this conflict for generations to come. I trust that this situation is ultimately in God’s hands. I know that trusting him is the right thing to do. I know that he has a better plan than I do.