BY JENNIFER WHITEHEAD, GRACE ATTENDER & UKRAINE SHORT-TERM TRIP PARTICIPANT
In reflecting on my trip to Ukraine this past summer, many stories come to mind. There were so many instances where I clearly saw God. He was present and moving within and through our team. He was reflected in the faces of the sweet Ukrainian babies I got to hold. He was very evidently moving in the ministry of Mission To Ukraine (MTU). His peaceful, powerful presence was literally felt all throughout the grounds of the MTU offices. I could feel tension and worry dissipate as I walked through the doors to the offices. I can only imagine how that peaceful presence must feel to the heavy-hearted moms who walk through those doors for the first time.
Broken, having recently considered having an abortion. Downtrodden by the burdens they carry that led them to consider abortion in the first place. And then to walk into the MTU office, where God is so clearly present? I can only imagine the peace and comfort that they felt! What a balm to their souls, even if they don’t know yet why. But at MTU? At MTU they are certain to find out why. MTU is in the business of introducing people to God. Explaining His great love for them. Demonstrating His grace through their actions. Showing His care for them. They are, without a doubt, being the hands and feet of Jesus in a way that I have never felt quite so deeply before.
Every day of camp, we worshipped with the moms. We were singing in English and they were singing in Russian. It always sounded nice, because worship songs sound nice. But one day? One day I was completely overcome with emotion and had to sit down and weep. The sounds of Russian and English blended perfectly on “Bless the Lord.” And right then? Right then, I had the clearest picture of Heaven that I could ever imagine. Ukrainian and American mamas, so very different in so many ways. Yet our hearts for our children were the same. And our worship of the Lord was the same. And it was beautiful beyond belief. And I know that God was pleased. His presence was palpable. His spirit was in that room and in those people. That is what MTU is all about. And I couldn’t be more grateful to have been allowed to be a part of such an amazing place. And, if it’s in God’s plans, I’ll get to go back next summer and see what else God has in store for me. I can’t wait!
Do you want to join Jennifer and others in Ukraine next summer? CLICK HERE to learn about the Ukraine trips as well as additional trips to serve Grace Church’s partner ministries all over the world.