It goes without saying that the most dominant story in our news cycles now is the War in Ukraine. There have been some other stories that have briefly appeared above the fold (a phrase most newspaper readers are likely familiar with). But the invasion of Ukraine by Russia has permeated much of what we are seeing in much of the media. Some of the pictures are beyond heartbreaking. And, given the networked digital world we now live in, we are seeing it in very real-time. With the capability of looking at it over and over.
At a recent chapel service here at CRCS, our Administrator took the step to do something unusual and unexpected. As he was concluding his message to the elementary students, he asked everyone to close their eyes. He then said that he would silently countdown 5 seconds. It got very quiet. He told everyone to open their eyes and then he posed this question, “What did you not hear?” It caught everyone off-guard including the staff. He then presented the picture you see above. The Kyiv Christian Academy, is a sister ACSI Member School. Explosions emanating from the war occurred quite close to that school, as are depicted. He told the Crusader students that the KCA staff and students had to evacuate their school.
He underscored some key messages to our students. First, that they should keep this school in fervent prayer given the tragic and horrible conditions its staff and students now face. He then went on to drive home a point that continues to be a driving issue for him: that we are blessed to live in a safe and free country where we can practice our faith and educate students accordingly. And for each student to be grateful for being able to go home to a house that is still standing without the fear of an explosion rooted in war occurring near them.
Children can often become self-absorbed. They live within their own bubble and any disturbances bring temporal discomfort. Our Administrator used this message opportunity as a way to penetrate that bubble and remind them that they should, as the Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Pray for the people of Ukraine…and for the people of Russia. God’s powerful hand of providence continues to move. We will see evidence of that in the months and years to come.