'You Have Not Been Forgotten': Former Missionary's Passionate Message to Ukrainians
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As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, the suffering there has touched millions across the world.
Dr. Rodger Murchison has traveled to Ukraine several times for missions work. Since the war began, he has been in contact with families there. Each message brings a different emotion ranging from heartbreak to hope, because of their faith.
"It breaks my heart," Murchison told CBN News. "Not only what I see on television but I realize is these are people just like you and me, living their lives, going to work, going to school, going to church and then all of a sudden their world is just turned upside down."
For 25 years, Murchison served as associate pastor with First Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.
His ministry included traveling to Ukraine as part of the Dnipro Hope Mission, a group with the vision of sharing the gospel throughout the country.
Much of his missionary work involved ministering to children, the elderly, and the disabled in the capital city of Kyiv as well as other areas.
"We came I think to live out, in as much as you've done it unto one of the least of these you've done it to me. And so, that was kind of our goal," explained Murchison.
Now many of his friends live in the war zone and tell him about the danger of caring for those unable to evacuate.
A voicemail message from Murchison's translator Irine Martov said, "Our part of Kyiv is safe, but every night Russians throw bombs on two or three houses in the city. We don't know which houses will be next. Everybody understands that we may be my house or your house next time. So, every night two or three houses destroyed in Kyiv."
Murchison recently organized a city-wide prayer rally for the people of Ukraine.
"I put out the word to my friends in Augusta and here they came, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Jewish friends, Islamic friends," said Murchison. "And they came. They all came to pray - 400 of the community members came to pray."
Those prayers are helping to strengthen believers a world away.
"Where some would feel like in a war zone or you're being downtrodden, their hearts leaped up," Murchison commented. "They said this is when your faith gets stronger when they were tested. So, I have been so impressed with the resilience and the strength of them, not only emotionally and physically, but spiritually."
Many who attended the prayer event were also touched to give, as $5,000 was collected for the Ukrainian people.
"That $5,000 is already in Kyiv, moving about, helping people all over Ukraine," Murchison said. "So, I do tell friends we do need to pray but let's put some feet and voices to those prayers to say that we're going to help in tangible ways."
For Murchison, he hopes that means returning to Ukraine where the mission is more important now than ever.
"We're going to be the hands of our Lord. If it means just picking up bricks and moving them out of the way. If it means hugging someone. If it means saying, 'I'm here representing the Lord Jesus Christ ... you have not been forgotten," said Murchison.
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