Ukraine Perspective by Keith Tucci
We are looking into the face of world history. We, the body of Christ, have an opportunity to make it His story—so that, no matter what happens, when an honest appraisal is taken, the world will know the Church ran to the roar and not away from it!
Before I comment further, I want to thank Pastor Steve Crombie, who responded on a moment’s notice to make this trip into the unknown with me. I want to thank Joan Crombie, his wife, and the rest of his family for releasing Steve to be with me. His servanthood and flexibility were essential for all the details and connecting the dots in what we were trying to do. His heart and insight into the situations we found ourselves in were critical—life and death decisions we were making, without exaggeration.
I want to thank the NRP tribe for your support, participation, and understanding that we, as a network, are called to this. I want to thank my wife, Penny; she didn’t blink an eye with any hesitation about my going—she’s a rock—and my kids who cheered me on!
This attack on the Ukraine is nothing more that ethnic cleansing with a bomb! There is no doubt in my mind that the failure of the international world when Putin attacked the Crimea Peninsula in 2014 has now come home to roost. The lack of response was an invitation to come back and take more. Now he has done just that.
There is fear now among neighboring nations, especially Romania, Moldavia, and Hungary, regarding Putin’s possible attempt to also bomb them into submission. I don’t have a strategic military answer, but I do know this—the sooner you fight back against a bully, the better chance you have.
There’s no doubt that Putin did not expect the armed resistance he has received from the under-equipped Ukrainian army. As we drove through Ukraine, there were billboards that read, “We thank the Lord for the Ukraine army.”
I am on sensory and emotional overload. I’ve found myself crying sometimes, not even sure why—it seems it’s just God’s heart. In spite of that, by God’s grace, I feel mentally sharp and spiritually discerning.
The purpose of this trip was to authenticate the best ways to help and the most trusted and capable people to work with. I had only one prior visit to Romania, but that proved to be very consequential. Pastor Costel dropped everything he was doing and became our escort, guide, interpreter, and partner throughout six very intense days. The power of Kingdom connections cannot be duplicated or counterfeited by other entities—certainly not by bureaucracies and governments.
We were able to identify key people and organizations who are getting things done; most of these were simply Holy Spirit-arranged, divine encounters. We now have a conduit to administer ministry aid and support with great confidence. Mission accomplished!
Watching the Romanian church lead the way here was truly an inspiration. Their response to the initial crisis was swift and sacrificial. They are now moving into Phase 2: sustained effort. This is where our resources, funds, and manpower are key as we partner with them. Most of the European nations, if not all, likewise are present.
We are ambassadors of Christ. Both the Ukraine and Romanian governments instantly recognized that. While others were trying to figure out what to do, sanctuaries were being turned into dormitories. Vans and busses were being loaded with medical supplies and food. As we prepared to cross the border, we were waved into the diplomatic line. A soldier moved the barricade and escorted us through. The people we were with had already been identified as essential! They were running busses loaded with supplies in and busses loaded with women and children out.
Here are my personal perspectives. I’ve not often been described as easy-going or light-hearted. I’m wound pretty tight—I get that. I have a tendency to bear down on things. It’s a double-edged sword. While I am not a worrier, I can get rather intense about stuff! It occurred to me that during the week in Romania and Ukraine, I didn’t have one concerned thought about my own personal circumstances back home—you know, the details and cares of life. I didn’t get amnesia, and that’s not to say that I don’t have several serious and potentially serious situations on the table at home. It’s just that in light of what was going on there, I’ll get around to it! That’s usually not my flow!
I am well aware that I am rounding third base in my life. It’s been a good run. I’m very clear that my assignment or stewardship is to bring NRP into a new level and generation of leadership. I’ve also been divinely suspicious that there was another aspect on the horizon—a curve ball, if you will. I’m wondering, “Is this it?” This thing is not going away in six months. The next generation will be the judge of how we did! The world will be different from now on. Maybe the two are tied together. My suspicion is that they are. How I (or how we) respond to this may well determine much more than we grasp at the moment.
People without vision or purpose are usually apologizing for calling folks to action or commitment. You’re not going to get an apology from me for pressing the issue and the prophetic implications of this scenario. Quite frankly, I’ve not had time to see what some of the “leading voices” are saying. Those who are stuck in an American ethos-centric gospel will be clearly identified by their silence or mystical convoluted interpretation that comforts those who sit on their hands. It’s not “business as usual.” If this doesn’t now become a Kingdom concern in our churches, I doubt seriously if we can have any credibility from Heaven to speak for the Father. After all, He doesn’t just speak English!