War is a horrible thing! The destruction of God’s creation and man’s developments, homes, buildings, roads and bridges. But what is unseen often and is sometimes the hardest to restore is the soul of man.
To watch your city blown apart by bombs, those things that make up your memories, your school, your church, your home. Worse is to see your neighbor killed or maybe your husband your best friend or even worse your children. These are the most terrible casualties of war and many of us have seen soldiers come back to lives that will never be the same.
Yesterday we visited a very special place. It is an apartment that opens up to a view of old town Krakow, Poland. The inside is furnished simply but comfortably. As soon as you walk in you feel the presence of God, of love. This house was built on a vision of a leader of one of our centers in Ukraine. She saw her staff, whom she loved were giving of themselves selflessly around the clock. She saw her friends, pastors of churches and their wives tirelessly living out their lives for others. Who is giving back to these people, who is pouring love back into their lives that are often drained of that same love.
Out of that vision came “Respite.” A ministry that takes these selfless workers into this apartment and works on restoring and giving back that which has been poured out to countless people across Ukraine’s war torn cities and towns.
They come, some are couples, tired and with little left to give. For a week they are blessed with beauty, comfort, listening ears and ministry. Karen, one of the staff says, you should see the difference in their faces from the time they come to when they leave. One pastor escaped with his family from a bombed out city, delivered his family to the safety of a YWAM center then returned to that city to bring more people out. He continued to do this risking his life each time but not being able to stop until his body could take no more. He was able to finally breath and get his life back as he was ministered to by the staff and Holy Spirit.
Will you stand with us in prayer for this important ministry? Pray that tired and wounded souls can be restored. They go back with the things they learned to help restore the people in their towns.
Also, this week a team has come from Western Europe, a care team to hold a retreat in Ukraine for our overworked staff. Pray for rest, restoration and a new empowering of the Holy Spirit. Pray that their teaching and ministry will be powerful and effective and that it will be spread through the whole nation.
This too is warfare of a different but very needed kind.
Al Akimoff and the Slavic Ministries Team (Poland)