Lessons from Maiden Square

Dear Friends,

As I write this in early March, Ukraine has been at the forefront of my thoughts and prayers for many days now. This rapidly changing crisis is the most significant geopolitical event in Central and Eastern Europe since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The recent actions of Russia to protect their regional interests are turning this into a confrontation of world powers. No one knows how it will all end.

In the midst of tracking the unfolding crisis several times a day, I am particularly struck with how much has been accomplished by normal people tenaciously standing up to tyranny, armed with only rocks and courage.

JV staff are also fighting for truth and freedom in the same region as God advances His kingdom, and our age-old enemy, Satan, opposes Him. I’m inspired by the protestors, who stood in Maiden Square in Kiev, and see several key lessons for us.

Tenacity and endurance are of crucial importance. The protesters in Kiev could have gone home many times as the weeks stretched into months and the bitter winter cold made their efforts even more difficult. In spite of the many setbacks, they simply did not give up. In the same way, as we seek to reach young people with the gospel, we must tenaciously continue to press forward, even when progress is difficult and the enemy defiant.

The tide was turned in Maiden Square when the opposition was willing to give their lives for the sake of freedom. It was only then that the attention of the world became refocused on the crisis and political pressure began to build from those who had been standing on the sidelines. The gospel also advances most when believers lose their fear of loss and are willing to pay the ultimate price so that spiritual truth and freedom can prevail.

Significant steps forward are often followed by an unexpected counterattack by the enemy. In spiritual warfare we must also be aware that our enemy does not play by the rules and is able to quickly regroup and attack on a different front. We must always be “on the alert.”

While we do not know the outcome of this political crisis, we do know the final outcome of the spiritual battle that is being waged. Jesus is victor, and Satan will be defeated.

Continue to uphold your JV missionaries in prayer as they daily engage in the fight.

Dave Patty President, Josiah Venture