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Worshipping with Tears of Joy, Tears of Grief

By Ingrid Koss |

Late last summer, Natalia Chernomor from The Bible Today in Ukraine sent us this joyful photo: a young woman had given her life to the Lord because of The Bible Today’s Instagram posts.

Her name is Nastya. We see her captured in time, being baptized by Nikolai Chernomor, in one of the happiest moments of her life!

Does it get any better than this? To know that God uses our work, our prayers, and our donations to draw people into His Kingdom?

That was only a few months ago. Today, as Russia invades Ukraine, the images coming from our partners at The Bible Today are of a country at war!

Where is the joy now?

Pastor Randall Krahn of Flin Flon recently led our staff devotional time. He encouraged us to worship God, but to realize that worshipping doesn’t guarantee that we’ll feel good.

In Psalm 95, we read the comforting verses that God is our Rock of Salvation, and we are the sheep of God’s flock. But then, God warns us not to harden our hearts like the Israelites did when things got tough.

Pastor Randall encouraged us to let the painful times deepen our trust and our worship.

That’s an uncomfortable thought for many western Christians. But not for Albina Nikitina, co-producer of our Russian children’s program, Ella’s Backyard Vlog. Albina comes from Moscow and has both Russian and Ukrainian heritage.

Albina says, “There is a worship song with the words, ‘dance like David danced’. Here in Canada, you sing the verses about dancing, and praising, and singing. But when my grandmother in Ukraine sang that song, she included the verse to ‘weep like David wept’.”

The Christians of Ukraine understand that worshipping God can also mean to “weep like David wept”.

Says Natalia, “We see terrible tragedies, but also God’s miracles. We feel abandoned, but we also feel your incredible support. We feel tested by God, but are also grateful to be trusted and chosen as an instrument for God’s special mission!”

Right now, the war against Ukraine is the top story in the news. And rightly so! And yet, people are also suffering in other parts of the world. God has led us to establish media projects in multiple cultures and languages. Today we find ourselves positioned in some of the world’s most critical hotspots.

Places like Ukraine. Afghanistan. Central America. Russia. The Middle East!

Like Natalia, we are grateful to be trusted for God’s special mission. Join us. People around the world who are weeping right now also need to know the joy that God is the Rock of their salvation.

Whether in good times when the sun is shining, or in the desperate times when we fear the worst, let us sing, dance, praise, and weep. Let us choose to deepen our trust and our worship of God.


Related: Views of Ella's Backyard increasing in Ukraine

We expected views of Ella's Backyard Vlog to go down in Ukraine - that Ukrainians would avoid everything Russian right now. But instead, views from within Ukraine have tripled! Pray that Russian-speaking children - regardless of which country they live in - would learn that God's love is real and present in this very frightening time.