Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stand in the Gap

Sunday afternoon.
I've spent the last four days with my eyes glued to the news.
Not our news.  We are too wrapped up in Justin Bieber stuff to care about a country across the ocean. 
Internet news.  Facebook news.
Watching a country in total turmoil.
It's real to me because I was there.
So I am glued to the news.
Praying.  Always praying. 
On Facebook I have been posting everything I see.
It's harder to do that on a blog.  It takes more energy and thought. But many of you are not on Facebook and the news media is not reporting what has been happening.
Things exploded on Wednesday and Thursday.
It looked unbelievably grim.
Halfway through the day on Thursday I about vomited when I saw a video of a man who was stripped naked and being forced to pose nude, holding an ax in his hands. 

The Berkut officers were having a moment of fun with the man after beating him.

A dozen or more standing around him.

One lonely naked beaten and bruised man in their midst.

They beat him as he entered the police van.  Naked he sat until a fellow prisoner kindly took off some of his clothes and shared them. 

I didn't post the video on my FB page.  It was too vile and I have a lot of my 13 year old students who are friends on Facebook.  I didn't need to put it on my wall. That video went viral.   It was seen by tens of thousands of people across the world.

Thankfully he survived.

He was released.

He went right back down to Independence Square. 

Not broken. 

Not broken.

I stand up and applaud that man.  For his courage.  For his willingness to go back.  To stand with HIS people and be a voice. 

Where it did the most damage - that video... in the very country where it was taken.  People who were relatively indifferent to the protesters were woken from their slumber when they saw their own police force beating and humiliating one of their own.

Mamas rose up in anger.  Grandmothers got off their couches.  Fathers pulled on their hats and gloves.  Ashamed.  Ashamed of their countrymen.  Ashamed of what was done to that one poor man.



Realizing that if they didn't do something then it could just as easily happen to their sons.  Their daughters. They came out banging their sticks and raising their voices.

The reality of what was happening hitting home and all over the country, in region after region, people are taking a stand.  Gathering.  Standing together.  They want the right to speak. They want the right to protest.  They want the right to  disagree with the government. 

Entire regiments of the Berkut are resigning.  Ashamed. 

President V over there started reading the Handwriting on the Wall.  So he called the leaders in.... offered them positions of high rank.  Flowered them with promises and handshakes.  Glory.  Power. 

Like Daniel, they said no.  We will not leave until you hear us.

Step down.   Call for new elections.  Your time is up.  It is over. Rescind the laws that robbed us of our rights.  Free our prisoners.  Free the hundreds of men and women who have been arrested for the simple act of protesting.

Last night the Protesters surrounded and then took over a House which was being used by Berkut officers.  They allowed the officers to leave without violence.  A peaceful takeover.  A handful of ammunition was found on the roof indicating that it had been used by snipers.  They would have had clear shots from the rooftop. 
The babushkas are cleaning the house and making it into a center where people can come and get refreshed.  Warmed.  Clean clothes.  Food.  Music.   

It is not over.

It is far from over.

Thugs hired by the government and disguised officers (possibly from Ru*si*) continue to walk the streets grabbing protesters and beating them, causing riots. Cars are being  burned. People are being kidnapped, beaten and left for dead in the woods. People are afraid to get medical help at the hospitals for fear of being taken.  I've even heard that they are having older orphan boys from the internats attack protesters.  Oh Dear Lord let it not be true!!
Journalists are being targeted.  Since they wear identifying vests that are supposed to protect them, they are easy targets. 
Medics and medical facilities are being attacked. 
In different regions across the country where people are staging protests, hired thugs are throwing smoke grenades and stones into the crowds. 
Rumor has it that the President is threatening to call a state of emergency on Tuesday.  Allowing him to use all the power of his military might against the protesters.  Again.  I pray it is not so.

In the midst of all of this.... there are families...adopting.
This morning in church we prayed for those families.
Prayed God's protection on them.  Prayed that their process would not be impeded by the turmoil that is happening all around them. 
I've been in contact with a number of them.  Some who are there and some who are getting ready to board planes.
They covet your prayers.  Please. 
Pray for them. 
Stand in the gap for them.
As the country groans around them - pray a shield of protection around them.  Please please pray that the turmoil will not affect adoptions.  Please!!
Stand in the Gap for all of them.  It is a country desperately in need of the Lord.


  1. I want to thank you, Julia, for all that you've been sharing on FB. I so appreciate the flow of information! Praying, praying, praying for those dear people!

  2. Thank you, Julia - Alla's blog over at BOM had a number of good links a couple of days ago - sadly, some of the in-country ones, including live TV coverage of Independence Square, (the Maidan) appear to have been taken down within the last 24 hours.

    The house to which you referred is "Ukraine House", not really a residence at all but a large government facility to showcase Ukrainian culture - it was formerly a museum to Lenin, before Ukrainian independence. Let's hope it doesn't ever revert to its original function!. It seems those who are presently inside are cleaning it up and doing what they can to repair the damage, which doesn't seem to be major.

    Did you see the "Mamas", a group of mature ladies wearing large white signs reading "Mama" on their chests, addressing the crowds? I couldn't help but think about the saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". The presence of such good people makes it very difficult to claim that the demonstrators are solely gullible and naïve students.

    I read a Russian online report about an hour ago (around 11:00 EST) that the Ministry of Justice building was being besieged by the riot police in an effort to retake it. I've read nothing online from the western press about this, however. Pray for those within its walls...and for the people of Ukraine, that they may have a government as brave and honorable as they themselves are.

    Prayers also for all the children of Ukraine, and those who love and care for them...

    Thanks again - I don't have access to Facebook, so really appreciate your including these updates on your blog.

    Susan in Ky
    Cousin to 2 from U.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to share this with those of us who are not on FB. My husband and I have been following this. We care, and we are praying for the people there and especially for the orphans, praying that adoptions will not be affected.

  4. Praying for those who are speaking up and bringing change to their country. I am sitting in Russia right now watching the news and am just amazed by what is going on. If we do not speak up for what is right there will never be change. I have been fighting for change from the comfort of a nice hotel. My greatest obstacle yesterday was getting lost after taking the Metro with another American mom when we tried to get back to our hotel. But still we have come to beg for change. I am so grateful my plight has not come to something like this. My heart aches for those involved.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!