Part seven in the seven-part series War and The Christian Worldview
Grand Canyon University was founded with a Christian worldview to give students a better curriculum for their education. This week, Dr. Jacob Hicks returns to discuss mission trips and charities you can get involved with to make a difference in Russia and Ukraine.
Below is a transcript of War and the Christian Worldview, episode 7, Conclusion:
Hello this is Dr. Jacob Hicks again. I hope that you found the College of Theology faculty's videos to be both informative and useful as we've looked at war from a Christian worldview perspective. However, as Christians it's not really enough for us just to know more about a topic or to gain understanding of the topic. As important as that is it's important for us to also live out what we believe and know to be true for both God's glory and for the good of others.
What to Take Away
Clearly the events in Ukraine since February 24th have been heartbreaking. The suffering of the Ukrainian people has been massive on a scale that Europe hasn't seen since World War II. The problem seems enormous and overwhelming and, to be honest, it is from a human perspective. Even in the midst of unspeakable evil, though, God has a plan to bring some good out of it, even if we can't see all of that right now. But we trust that God has a plan for these daunting, troubling times and part of the plan is he has called Christians to give generously to those who are in need and also, as Matthew 5:9 says, to be peacemakers. But now what exactly does that look like? What are some practical steps that we could take to make an impact first as Christians?
Both individually and in a corporate setting we need to pray, pray and pray some more for the events that are going on in Ukraine. Pray for the over four million Ukrainian refugees that have been made refugees just like that because of the Russian war. They're strangers in countries that they probably never thought that they were going to live in, at least for a little while, and they're struggling to get rooted in a new society. Many are hungry, many are without proper mental health treatment, many need housing and there's just so many needs just with the refugees alone. Pray also for the Ukrainians who are still in Ukraine.
Many of them — thousands maybe tens of thousands — are fighting for their freedom this very minute against a numerically superior military force. So far they've astounded the world with their bravery and their courage, their determination to keep fighting for democracy and keep fighting for freedom. Pray that they're able to hold out. Pray that they're able to even win a war that was unjustly committed against them. Pray for folks in besieged cities like Mariupol, who are serving without power, without adequate medicine that help can somehow reach them even in the midst of a siege. Pray also, that the Gospel reaches Ukrainians no matter where they end up.
Whether they stay in Ukraine or whether they have to go abroad, pray that the Ukrainians do hear the Gospel and they get saved. Because as much as we want to minister to their physical needs, they just like all of us are in spiritual need of a savior. But also pray for many Ukrainians who are actually already Christians. The majority of people as we heard earlier in Ukraine are actually Christians already, but they need encouragement. They need consolation, they need refreshing from hearing the Gospel. So, whether Christians or not, everybody needs to hear the word and they need God to touch their heart and to bring peace. They will know once and for all their Lord and Savior or as they go through the Christian life in unspeakable circumstances.
Pray also for our nation and world's leaders now. Regardless of our sometimes very strong personal opinions about some of our leaders, God commands in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all people for kings and all who are in high positions. So, it doesn't really matter what your own political perspective is. That's not as important as praying that those leaders have the wisdom to somehow bring an end to the war in Ukraine and to usher in a new period of peace, security and freedom for all that have been affected. We pray that the war doesn't expand past Russia and Ukraine as well. Pray also for the many humanitarian workers, journalists and other folks that are in Ukraine trying to cover the war and trying to help people as well.
Who knows how many people exactly are there right now trying to provide medical care, trying to provide basic needs or trying to cover the story? A lot of those folks are on the front lines. Several journalists, several humanitarian workers, several hospitals have been bombed already. So pray for the safety of those who are trying to help out other people on the front lines as well.
Second, we should all give. There are seemingly endless numbers of charities to give to but which one should we trust? It's an important question since there's so many out there. We need some kind of criteria to figure out where we should spend our money because God has called us as Christians to be stewards of everything that he has given us. So, there's a couple of great resources that you can use in order to research whether or not a charity is spending your money properly and whether or not the charity just has a good reputation overall.
Charities to Consider
A couple I recommend checking out Charity Navigator and Charity Watch will help you to do that research. I’ll provide links to those different charities at the end of the video. Now like I said there's a lot of great charities out there.
One that I really love to give to is Samaritan’s Purse. It’s very popular and you may know Samaritan’s Purse from all the shoe boxes that are collected around Christmas time to give to poor children throughout the world. Well they actually do a whole lot more than that and when it comes to the Russia Ukraine conflict they've done quite a bit already right now. They have an entire hospital that's outside of the city of Lviv and western Ukraine and then they have about three or four other medical clinics. There are in other parts of western and central Ukraine. They're giving hygiene products and food to refugees and you could choose to give quite easily through the website; they're a pretty reputable charity to give to.
Your own denomination may be an avenue of which you can give money to help the Ukrainians as well so you may want to check with your church or denominational body to see if there's a way that you could contribute to helping the Ukrainians through that as well, if you're more comfortable giving through your local church body or denominational body than some other charity or para church organization.
Third, the Lord may be leading you to actually go. Maybe not to Ukraine itself because it's so dangerous right now. But maybe God is leading you and your church to have a group of folks that are interested in going on a short-term or long-term missions trip to Poland, Moldova or perhaps other places in Eastern Europe where you're able to help the refugees that are continually flooding into the country and you may have never considered actually going abroad in order to do missions work. But given the circumstances that we're in, maybe this is the time that God is leading you, actually to do missions overseas.
I just ask you — as much of a sacrifice as that may be leaving your home even for a couple of weeks — I just ask you to leave that open as a possibility. If that's where God is leading you to go the needs as we've seen are great, are enormous, but our God can do even more and greater things that we can even possibly imagine. We have this remarkable opportunity to provide hope and healing to millions of people that are in need of Christ and have physical needs, are spiritually broken and skeptical. The world needs to see that our faith is real and what better opportunity to provide help and service to those that are suffering. I close with the words of the apostle John, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth,” 1 John 3:18.
We've learned a lot about war in the Christian worldview in this video series and once again I hope that you got a lot out of it. But remember, as Christians we can't just learn and know. We must go out and do. So pray, give and if the lord is leading you to do so, go as well. Thank you so much for your time again.
I’m Dr. Hicks and I hope you've enjoyed this video series.
Helpful Websites to Use to Find A Charity You Can Trust:
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.