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Helping our children pray for what is happening in Ukraine.

Materials prepared 5th March 2022)

Joy Vee is a Christian children’s author, who lives in the UK now, but is married to a Ukrainian. She lived in Ukraine and Russia for 7 years. She has a message for you, and ways that you can pray:

Many of you are seeing the events in Ukraine on the news and feel frightened and sad. You may have family in Ukraine, or friends with family out there. Or maybe you see other boys and girls and feel sad for them. Maybe you feel afraid that war might happen here, or you might feel guilty that you are safe at home, and they are not.

All these feelings are normal. Lots of people are feeling the same thing. And sometimes I feel these things too – but I have another feeling too – and I want to share that with you. I have hope. Does that surprise you? Can I tell you why I have hope?

I have hope because many Ukrainians know Jesus.

When I was your age, for the people who lived in Ukraine and Russia, it was illegal to follow Jesus. Christians were put in prison and there were very few churches. However, when the people of Ukraine became independent, many of them came to know Jesus. There were lots of churches built and lots of good things happened in the nation. In fact, every time Ukraine has had a revolution, the people start the day with prayer. In Ukraine, there are many, many people who know Jesus. Right now, they are working hard to look after people, feed them, help them escape. They are also praying with them and sharing Jesus with them.

I have hope because I know how powerful God is.

In the Bible there are lots of stories of God fighting on behalf of his people (see 2 Kings 6:8-23 and 2 Chronicles 20). My friends and family in Ukraine are telling me similar stories. Here are a few I have heard this week or seen myself in videos:

Rockets landing on the ground, but not exploding.

Enemy tanks getting lost and running out of petrol or getting stuck in the mud.

Aeroplanes dropping their soldiers in the wrong place – and one time, the wind blew the parachutists all the way back to their own country again.

Soldiers surrendering because they don’t want to kill people.

We serve a powerful God, and He can do miracles to save His people.

I still ask God why He doesn’t stop ALL the planes, rescue ALL the people. I think it’s OK to ask God those questions and to keep asking Him to save MORE people. But don’t lose sight of the fact that He is doing miracles, and saving lives, even though they don’t report that much on the news.

There are some really special things you can pray about – I’m going to give you five things to pray for – one for each finger on your hand.

1) This is for your thumb – because this one is the most important and affects all the others – in the same way your thumb can reach all your fingers. Pray for more people to come to know JESUS. When people know Jesus, they have peace, God can speak to them, and when they die, they go to be with Him in heaven. Knowing Jesus makes everyone’s life better now, and we have heaven to look forward to. (I pray this for Ukrainians and Russians – God wants everyone to come to know Jesus – 1 Timothy 2:1-4)

2) This is for your pointer finger – the one that can poke the hardest – don’t try i