Collateral Damage: Praying For Families In Ukraine

by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan

A stack of clothes for laundry, a pile of dishes for washing, a never-ending change of diapers, a load of toys for cleaning, a million questions to answer inquisitive minds – these are what I wake up to every single day as a housewife and mother of two young children.

It’s never easy. Every single day poses extra challenges: children who disobey and siblings who always fight with each other. My patience gets depleted, and my temper rises.

But seeing the news about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, I have learned to be grateful for the mess in my home, the noise of my children, the freedom we have in the nation we are in, and every privilege we get to enjoy.

As I see and hear the stories of million Ukrainian mothers fleeing their nation, with their children in tow, their husbands left behind, and a future unknown, my heart break into pieces and my eyes swell with tears.

I look at my life with contentment, I gaze at my children with gratitude and I set my eyes to the one who grants mercy and comfort to the brokenhearted.

There are even stories of parents sending off their children to safety while they stay behind, to fight for their country and to care for other family members who have no strength for the long journey to neighboring countries.

Oh, how this breaks my heart. Not being able to see my children even for just a while and not knowing what they are up to brings so much anxiety to my heart, how much more letting them go on a journey of hundreds of miles by themselves, amid all the dangers out there.

Just like us, they are ordinary families living their lives. But because of the geographical location of their nation, their dark history and their desire for freedom and peace, they have become collateral damage to a ridiculous war fueled by selfish ambitions and heartless aspirations.

They don’t deserve this atrocity. No one does. But in the course of human history, millions of people have suffered and have lost their lives because of senseless conflicts.

They did not choose this. They did not want this.

Wars are started by a few people hungry for power but suffered by many innocent lives starving for peace. All I know is that justice will be served for them.

It may not be in this lifetime, but in due time, there will be vindication.

And wars will cease. Every tear will be wiped away, death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore. (Revelation 21:4)

In a war, no one wins. In this ongoing battle, there are countless casualties on both sides. And most of the time, civilians and innocent citizens suffer the most.

This senseless war also leaves Russian mothers and wives heartbroken and empty. They will go on with life, knowing that their loved ones have been sent as ‘cannon fodders’ to fight a battle which they have not chosen.

And because of the sanctions imposed upon their nation brought about by the decision of their oppressive leaders, they will have to move forward in a nation going backwards. A bleak future awaits them. I pray for comfort upon the people of Russia, too.

The difficult things happening around the world compel me and my family to utter prayers without ceasing.

Let us all remember and pray for our brothers and sisters all around the world, especially those in war-stricken nations.

We pray that they will experience God’s supernatural strength, overwhelming grace, overflowing provision, incomprehensible peace and comfort and inexplicable joy despite the pain, hardships, oppression and heartaches they are experiencing right now.

A dim and uncertain future, a life that’s possibly led without a partner to raise her children, a home without walls and roof, an ounce of strength she will try to muster to face each waking hour, a million pieces of her life she will try to put together and a gazillion questions she will find answers to.

These, aside from the daily grind of motherhood, will be what a mother and a wife in war torn nations like Ukraine will endure each day.

But this gives me hope and comfort, the truth that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and He saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wound. (Psalm 147:3)

One day, Ukraine, her mothers, and her people will rise up again, victorious.

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