2/23/2023 – 9 years ago I wrote: “There is a name for what Putin wants to do, and it is genocide”

Today’s picture was taken on the same day as the picture in the original post – it was one of the last peaceful weekends before the full-scale war.

From Ira Kapitonova in Kyiv (Day 364):

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
Psalm 64:1

A year ago today, my son and I were recovering from a cold. We went for a walk in the neighborhood – the weather was sunny and warm, and you could sense the spring in the air. While my son enjoyed himself at the playground, I kept anxiously checking my phone for news. I remember being startled by the sounds of airplanes flying over our neighborhood, even though I was used to them (our neighborhood is not far from the airport). In the evening, when my son was getting ready for bed, someone set off fireworks in our yard, but in the moment’s anxiety, they sounded like explosions. My son rushed to the window to watch the fireworks, but I grabbed him and pulled him to the back of the room. We had been reading about safety in the war zone, and the number one rule is staying away from windows and closer to the load-baring walls. Once I realized it was a false alarm, I let him enjoy the display of lights, but he kept asking me why I didn’t want him to watch it from the beginning.

Once he was tugged into bed, I stayed in his room until he fell asleep, and that whole time I felt like a burden was put on my chest. I knew there were words I had to share. I didn’t know whom I would share them with, but I knew I couldn’t keep them to myself.

So I sat down and wrote my first daily update (https://bit.ly/41i0CVF). The big war was still 32 hours away, and we still hoped and prayed that God would let this cup pass from us.

As I reread my words from one year ago, I am astounded by their relevance today, so much so that the only editing needed is the numbers.

Below is the updated version of my first daily update when the big war was still 32 hours away. And today’s picture was taken on the same day as the picture in the original post – it was one of the last peaceful weekends before the full-scale war.

Dear friends,
Thank you so much for your care, support, and prayers!
The war Ukraine is forced to fight now is not for territories or politics. It is a battle for values. Nine years ago, Ukrainians dared to stand up for their dignity, for the value of human life, for the freedom of choice. Even though we had been an independent nation for 23 years, nine years ago, we dared to exercise this independence, and Russia decided that we had to be “punished” for this.
Over the past nine years, more than 12,000 civilians have been killed (according to the UN records, but the actual number is much higher, and that doesn’t include the number of fallen soldiers since that information is classified). We can only guess how many more people will have to die, be wounded, or lose their homes in the near future because of the wild ambitions of a crazy man (backed up by his army and supporters) who wants to destroy us, not just as a country but as a nation. There is a name for what Putin wants to do, and it is genocide.
It is a war of worldviews and values. It is a struggle “against this present darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Even if you are far from Ukraine, you will still have to fight in this war. Whether you are aware of it or not, you will side with one part or another, so please, choose wisely.
Ukraine is under attack now. Our army has to defend our homes. We just want to send our kids to school and know they will be safe there during the day. We simply want to be able to make plans without thinking of alternative solutions in case we are under a massive attack. We want to peacefully plant a garden and harvest it in due time. We want to make doctor’s appointments without wondering if we’d live to make it. We want our children to have an ordinary childhood, and we want to protect their mental health. Is it too much to ask for?
It is not easy to live in such a time, yet it teaches me to value what I had been taking for granted, and it has made me painfully aware of the truth found in James 4:14-15: “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
The only thing we can do now is trust in the Lord, rely on His goodness, and cry out for His mercy. And find comfort in the knowledge that even if evil prevails now, our God is Just, and all those who side with evil today will one day receive their ultimate judgment before His Throne, and on that day, “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4).

One response to “2/23/2023 – 9 years ago I wrote: “There is a name for what Putin wants to do, and it is genocide””

  1. C.S. Lewis, veteran of WW I, speaking during WWII [“Learning in war-time”]
    “Before I went to the last war I certainly expected my life in the trenches would be, in some mysterious way, all war. In fact, I found that the nearer you got to the front line the less everyone spoke and thought of the Allied cause and the progress of the campaign: and I am pleased to find that Tolstoi, in the greatest war book ever written, records the same thing -and so, in its own way, does the Iliad. War, for most of us, will not cancel or remove from the slate the merely human life we were leading before we entered it… because it is a finite object and therefore intrinsically unfitted [i.e. it cannot] to support the whole attention of a human soul.
    ..What does war do to death? It certainly does not make it more frequent; 100 percent of us die and the percentage cannot be increased. It puts several deaths earlier, but I hardly suppose that is what we fear. Certainly when the moment comes, it will make little difference how many years we have behind us.
    Does it increase our chances of a painful death? As far as I can find out, what we call a natural death is usually preceded by suffering, and a battlefield is one of the very few places one has a reasonable chance of dying with no pain at all.
    Does it decrease our chances of dying at peace with God? I cannot believe it. If active service does not pursuade a man to prepare for death, what would?
    Yet war does do something to death. It forces us to remember it… War makes death real to us, and that would be counted a blessing by most Christians of the past… we see unmistakably the sort of universe we have been living in all along: all schemes of happiness that centered on this world were always doomed to final frustration. But if we thought that for some souls, at some times, the life of learning, [pursuing knowledge and beauty], humbly offered to God, was… one of the appointed ways to the Divine reality and the Divine beauty which we hope to enjoy hereafter, we can think so still.”


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