The catastrophic bombing of the hydroelectric dam on the Dnieper River, next to the Ukrainian city of Nova Kakhovka, has reawakened the world and news media to the harsh reality of this ongoing war.
Following the bombing of the hydroelectric dam, I and other Converge Ukraine Relief Consortium leaders received an urgent request from Dr. Oleksandr Geychenko, the President of the Odessa Theological Seminary. Some Converge Districts have a long-standing relationship with Dr. Geychenko and the seminary, which is near the cities affected by the flooding. Dr. Geychenko wrote, “At this moment, the government is evacuating people from the affected zones. We expect a new wave of Internally Displaced People (IDPs). It could be from 50,000 to 600,000, as IDPs will not only come from flooded areas but also from areas deprived of water…Please pray for people to be saved, for rescuers and all who are helping to evacuate people. We have already informed churches that the seminary can provide facilities for housing IDPs. If you can, please support different humanitarian projects in Ukraine. We trust the Lord to lead us through yet another trial.”
Back in 2014, Dr. David Munson from Central Church in Sioux Falls, SD, and I visited ministries in the presently flooded cities of Kherson and Nova Kakhovka. This was just after Russia’s first invasion and annexation of Crimea. Today, 30 communities throughout this region have been flooded, thousands of lives upended, and the city of Nova Kakhovka has been declared dead. Victor Voznyk, a Sioux Falls resident, native of Nova Kakhovka, and friend of the Converge Heartland District, stated, “We have been enduring the thought of this disaster and living in disruptive agony while anticipating this catastrophic event for quite some time…and it happened. My soul is trembling for my home city.”
Christ’s example calls us to a lifestyle that reflects Christ’s sacrificial love. The recent devastation in Ukraine deploys us deeper into this lifelong calling. Pauls’ words to the Galatian Christians guide us in our expression of Christ’s love, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
How is the Lord prompting you to express Christ’s love?
Thank you for prayerfully and sacrificially participating in this need.
Jim Capaldo, District Executive Minister, Converge Heartland
A graduate of Baptist Bible College, Western Seminary, Novosibirsk State University and the University of South Dakota, Jim served 11 years establishing a church planting movement among the formerly unreached Tuvan tribe of Siberian Russia. Besides church planting, he has pastored at ChangePoint Church in Anchorage, Alaska, and at Central Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, facilitates StratOp retreats, serves on various ministry boards and regularly instructs for the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.