Readers who routinely follow my blog posts will find the following line at the end of every post:
Please pray for the people of Ukraine!
After the Russia launched its full-scale attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it was common to see shows of support for Ukraine from many bloggers. But as the war raged on, the slogans of support gradually diminished or disappeared entirely. Why have I persisted in daily calling for prayer for Ukraine?
The simple answer is because the war has not stopped. The Russians have not withdrawn from Ukrainian territory. On the contrary, they continue to shell cities and towns destroying homes, schools, and hospitals, and committing unimaginable atrocities in the communities they have occupied. So, the need for prayer support continues.
Furthermore, Ukraine has a democratically elected government, whereas Russia is ruled by an autocrat who has murdered journalists and political opponents who have exposed his grasping brutality. Vladimir Putin has not been content to confine his cunning violence to his own country. His hitmen have murdered his opponents living in foreign countries like Britain.
Ukraine is not the first country to be attacked by the Russian bear. First Chechnya came under attack. That was followed by a war with Georgia. Then Russia became an active combatant in the Syrian Civil War. Whole cities were leveled by Russian artillery. The same general who commanded the Syrian campaign is now in charge of the invasion of Ukraine. Yes, once again whole cities like Mariupol have been bombed into oblivion.
Finally, for me this war has a personal connection. My grandfather, Jacob Kitz, came from what is now western Ukraine. At that time western Ukraine was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1889, with his parents and younger sister, five-year-old Jacob boarded the steamship Augusta Victoria in Odesa, Ukraine. On November 9th of that year, the family disembarked in New York. They were homesteaders seeking a better life in North America. Their quest for fertile farmland took them first to Minneapolis, then north to Winnipeg, Canada and finally in the fall of 1890 to the little prairie settlement of Langenburg in the present-day province of Saskatchewan. They were among the very first pioneers to settle the land.
Thousands of German, Polish and Ukrainian speaking settlers from western Ukraine followed in their footsteps. They established prosperous farm communities across western Canada. In many respects the land, climate, and crops of the Canadian prairies are almost identical to what they left behind in Ukraine.
Above all these settlers found peace and security in Canada whereas those who remained in Europe were forced to endure the full-on horrors of two world wars, and Stalin’s premeditated starvation during the communist collectivization of 1930s. Now once again, an aggressive dictator has shattered the peace with this unprovoked war.
That is why I support Ukraine. That is why I continue to end my daily posts with these words: