About a month ago, I was embarking on my first trip to Ukraine, to do video work for a Ministry called The Tomorrow Clubs. I had the opportunity through them, and HOPE International, to create a video that highlights the need for Christ in this country. We stayed in Kiev, surrounded by skyscraper-styled apartment complexes. Ukraine was very grey and “Soviet,” for lack of better terms during my stay, although I’m told that the summers are absolutely gorgeous. I did get a tiny bit experimental on some of my editing, but didn’t make any major departures from where I’ve been landing lately. I think I spoke two days worth of English the entire time that I was there, due to almost everyone we were with speaking either Ukrainian or Russian. For anyone who knows me this was exceedingly difficult for me, as I’m a bit of a chatterbox. I was also seeing a lot of things that needed processing.
Enjoy the photos! More thoughts are below to wrap up.
– I found my heart very conflicted and exposed to itself during this trip, and the hideousness of the sin that wrapped many of my thoughts, motives, and frustrations. The things that seemed to frustrate me were so temporal compared to the things that frustrated these people.
– When Ukrainians prayed, on multiple occasions they started with “God, we thank You that You are our God.” Each time I heard this it struck me how little of a deep awe and respect we have for God as the Western church. We are concerned with the things of this World, and not of His Kingdom. My hope in such a general statement is to stir an affection for the need for Christ more in our churches. How often do we even acknowledge that God has made us His covenant people? How often do we think on the fact that apart from His grace and goodness we would face His righteous judgment?
– We went to remote villages a little over an hour away from Kiev. In Kiev there were cities much like there are cities here, yet only an hour away there was poverty I haven’t seen since in Liberia, Africa. How would these people survive? How would they make money to sustain not their excesses, but their basic necessities? Why is there so much suffering and pain in this world? To quote Matt Chandler, “I think it has something to do with Mr. Benjamin.” We have so many opportunities that so much of the world simply doesn’t have access to. I feel like I don’t have a concept for what my needs are. My desires have become so separate from my needs; almost everything I do some days can be chalked up to excess. When my internet doesn’t work for three days and my workflow is restricted, I feel like the World is ending. I wouldn’t have that problem unless I had a computer, an office, a job, etc. And yet I hold tightly onto those things as if those are the promises of God, instead of God Himself being where my identity and hope lies.