Mother Russia, About Face!
A startling huge, silver statue of Mother Russia looms over the Dnieper River in the city of Kiev, Ukraine. She faces Russia. With sword and shield, she was the provider and protector for Ukraine. She was powerful. Oh, so powerful.
For my friends in Ukraine, Mother Russia is now a pathetic joke. They would like to turn her on her pedestal and have her butt face Russia. Russian control of Ukraine, representing all the totalitarian oppression and ravaging of this beautiful country, is now history. Only nightmarish memories remain.
SYMBOLS OF CHANGE
In the second picture, you see symbols of change--beneath Mother Russia are colorful billboards advertising free market merchandise. From starvation to plenty, from "Hush, hush, 'Big Brother' is watching you" to "Do you have your cell phone, yet?" From iron thumb control to independent choice. From communism to democracy. An old man, a survivor under communism, once told me, "Communism promised everyone a bicycle. You get the handle bars, you get the pedals, she gets the chain, he gets the fenders, she gets the wheels. We all had a "bicycle," but we couldn't ride it." Now you can buy your own VW or BMW or Lada or Chevrolet...or, my favorite, the Zaporhozyette.
But my concern is that "the good news" that changes the whole of Ukraine not be merely her independence in 1991. That "the good news" not be McDonald's, Fords, jeans, Hollywood movies, cell phones, CDs and Shell gas.
Why swamp a young, free country with things? Things galore.
The young evangelical church of Ukraine's independence is the hope of free Ukraine. With a bold passion and stunning creativity unknown in previous decades, the young church carries the true liberating message, the authentic "good news"--the good news of the in-breaking kingdom of God through Jesus Christ.
It is a privilege for me to serve a cadre of young leaders (Sasha, Pasha, Maksim, Andre, Dima, Tim, Alexsei, Vova, Sergei, Ola, Alona, Veronica, Lena, Natasha, Zhenna, Oxanna, and many others) whose message is "Now, when you pray, say, 'Our Father in heaven...' "
Mother Russia has had her day.