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For your continuing prayers…

Randy and Shelley Marshall are OMS Missionaries to the Ukraine. They are also Inspire Missioners. Like so many other people right now, they are displaced from Ukraine and living with the day to day uncertainty of war. They just sent us this letter as an update. Do join us as we continue to pray.

“We are so thankful for the support to Ukrainians around the world through prayer and finances, how God is protecting many and providing for Ukrainians at this time.  Also, we are encouraged by Ukrainians being more open to God.  Many from our Life Groups are getting to share their faith in other countries around Europe, so this is the best news.  

We have lived in Ukraine for 19 years and life before we left Ukraine in late January was pretty predictable. We had a team, had goals, plans, scheduled events up to a year and ministry that seemed to be going well.  We had a network of Life Groups that we called our Church family.  Now our team, Life Groups and friends have scattered, plans have been cancelled for summer and none of us know what is going to happen today or tomorrow and when, or if, we will get to our apartments again in Ukraine.

We relocated to Hungary in January. We have mostly been helping with refugees and housing them short term while they make plans where to go.  Also, we still have many of our meetings, bands, life groups on-line, plus we keep in touch with friends who have had to leave Ukraine or are still there.    

Life in this time of war is something we have never experienced.   Every day and week are different and the needs and questions don’t seem to stop. 

Here are examples of unexpected conversations or notes we have had in the last 4 days:

  • “ How should I pray for my grandma who I haven’t seen for over a month, we don’t know if she already died in her apartment.  I know she has been alone with a few pieces of bread, no water and no electricity.  A priest told me to pray as if she’s alive and then after a year you can pray in another way.”
  • “If God is everywhere, why is he allowing innocent people, even kids to suffer so horribly?”
  • “What if I never see my husband again, what if God allows him, us to die?”
  • “Can you help us find a place to live, should we go to Slovenia or stay in Hungary, can you help us find a job?  (We don’t speak Hungarian and neither do they)
  • “Can you write a letter for me so I won’t have to carry a gun and shoot people?”
  • “Do you know of any place that can house a mom and two kids?”
  • “I have good news and bad news, I went to your apartment in Kyiv.  Everything seems to be okay, but when I saw glass on your couch and noticed the window shattered a bit, I realized it was from a bullet that went through your window and put a tiny hole in the wall.”

So how are our hearts? We miss our home in Ukraine and sometimes think about small things that we miss, but then we feel guilty to think of those things when so many people have lost their homes and don’t even know where to go.  We feel angry at this evil and so sad for the suffering people, but also we feel tired and want to get away some days, but then we feel guilty for wanting to rest from it and get back to a normal life.  I think it is a very common thing that we are going through and many humanitarian aid workers and volunteers need prayer like we do, for strength, rest.  

We will remain here in Hungary until June 2, then we will be in the U.S. for our usual home assignment, speaking in churches, with supporters, travelling, etc.”

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