One Life at a Time
One Life at a Time
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
I want to share with you my heart about my recent trip to Ukraine and what the Network of Related Pastors is doing there. I want you to understand the vision of what is happening, why it is so critical that it happens, and why I believe— for the integrity of the gospel—that we find ourselves in the center of what God is doing.
Martin Luther said, “If I proclaim the gospel with the greatest boldness, yet I do not proclaim it at precisely the place and the moment where the devil is raging the most, I have not proclaimed the gospel.”
That is exactly how I feel about what is happening in Ukraine. When I saw this event unfolding, I realized this was not a civil war from another dysfunctional nation, but instead a full democracy who gained its independence just 30 years ago, who is now literally being attacked by a super power.
There is no doubt that the Ukrainians have done an incredible, extraordinary, and heroic job at defending their country. Now we are seeing the cost of that. Thousands of people have been murdered, executed, and shot in cold blood, revealing the true nature of this onslaught.
The Ukrainian people have an incredible heritage. They were the first battleground as Hitler came through to conquer the Soviet Union where he wiped out millions of Ukrainians. When the Soviet Union pushed the Germans back, they plundered the Ukrainian population. The largest mass graves in the world are indisputable in Ukraine.
These people have gained national pride since their liberation in 1990. They intend to keep it. Some of the strongest and most prolific churches in Europe have emerged in Ukraine. Ukraine does have its political problems and moral challenges like any other nation, but the Christian influence in Ukraine is very strong.
I believe prophetically that Ukraine is the door to Europe for the reemergence and reformation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the spread of His Kingdom here on earth. I believe that how the Church responds to this present history is going to be critical. That is why I keep saying that we need to make this segment of history into His-Story.
In spite of the heartbreaking things that I witnessed, the silver lining was to see the Romanian Church respond with all of its resources and man-power and be instantly organized to help.
We have established five distribution points that we have been funding and supplying food to. These five points are all in Ukrainian territory. These are five local churches that we have established relationships with. These are churches that have the same DNA as we do. Churches whose pastors have not abandoned their people, but are staying there to feed them not only the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, but also bread so they can live. They have turned their churches into triage centers where people are staggering in weary and heartbroken, and in some cases, literally wounded. They are housing them and feeding them. They are offering them hope. They are transporting some to the border so they can move onto another place.
As of right now, there are over 7 million Ukrainians who no longer have a home. For some of them, they don’t have a village or a town either. There is nowhere to go back to. They are staying in safer parts of Ukraine. Many are gathering around the Romanian border where it is easy to get access to them. The resources inside Ukraine are strained and overwhelmed as they are doing everything they can just to feed and clothe their soldiers.
We are helping the citizens of that nation and the vehicle we are using is God’s chosen vehicle, His Church. Several of the five distribution points we have set up are in high conflict zones like Mariupol. Because we are connected to the local churches, we have been able to get food and supplies across the border where the Red Cross hasn’t even been able to go. The local churches we are working with are getting the supplies in and then the refugees are breaking them down into smaller sizes and taking them into areas where people can’t leave easily for fear of running into Russian resistance or places where they won’t leave because they want to continue to defend their home.
The Church has a great history of helping people stand against tyrants. This is a tyrannical situation. The battle cry of the Revolutionary War for the budding American church was no king, but Jesus. We now see that being repeated in the churches of Ukraine. They won’t give in. They won’t give up. They are going to shepherd their people.
I believe this is a moment in time to form a church alliance that can penetrate Europe in the next couple of decades. I believe the Ukrainian church will emerge from this. The Romanian church will emerge from this. The Polish church will emerge from this. They will be strengthened with God’s favor to spread the gospel to these other nations as they share what the love of God really looks like.
This is not going to be over quickly. We need as much help as we can possibly muster. If the war were to end today, we would have years of rebuilding and healing to do. Right now, the need is basic resources—sleeping bags, clothing, medicine, food, and housing. Most of all they need Jesus and they need the hope that He brings.
I want to urge every person to use your social media platform to link to NRPUkraine.com or a page your local church may have. We need to be known in our communities as the churches that have compassion and are helping these poor, oppressed, attacked people.
Join us in making a difference one life at a time. Challenge others to join you in helping these people. This is the time to make history His-Story.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!