A humanitarian aid organization in Molochansk, Ukraine, founded by Canadian Mennonites continues to help the community amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion.
It’s 10:30 a.m. in Winnipeg, but for Valerie Alipova, it might as well be after supper.
(Photo by Elena Mozhvilo/Unsplash)
God of hope,
we pray to you when hope is scarce
as our world convulses with the horror of war.
You alone know the extent of the crimes committed in Ukraine:
the people murdered, the homes and infrastructure destroyed,
the way violence comes as a calamity,
cutting a swath through the world.
Why is power concentrated in the hands of so few?
How can we make this war stop?
You alone know a way out of this quagmire of evil.
Help us find it.
Awaken those who dismiss this as someone else’s problem.
Russia has begun military operations against Ukraine, but North American Mennonite Central Committee staff who were working in the latter country are safe.
That includes Winnipegger Andrea Shalay, the charity’s peace engagement co-ordinator for Europe. Shalay and three other staff, all Americans, were evacuated from Ukraine more than a week ago.
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada staffers Fanosie Legesse (left) and Norm Dyck, pictured last year by the sign in front of the Meserete Kristos Church in Mekelle. Mekelle is the capital city of the Tigray region, which is at the centre of the war in Ethiopia. (Photos courtesy of Mennonite Church Canada)
Meserete Kristos Church (MKC) held a nationwide fasting and prayer for peace on Nov. 16.
Owen McCausland (tenor), left, tells the story of the Dog from Algiers who saves his master’s life on the battlefield to Larissa Koniuk (soprano), Alexandra Beley (mezzo-soprano), and Keith Lam (baritone), in the new Llandovery Castle Opera, whose music was composed by Stephanie Martin. (Photo courtesy of Will Ford, Llandovery Castle Opera)
The plaque commemorating Mary Agnes McKenzie at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto sent Stephanie Martin on her three-year journey to produce the opera Llandovery Castle. Years later, the church installed a stained-glass window above the plaque of Mary and Martha each serving Jesus in their own ways. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)
Stephanie Martin had often led practises with the Pax Christi Chorale at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto. But during one practice in 2015 she was drawn to a plaque on the north wall of the sanctuary honouring nurse Mary Agnes ‘Nan’ MacKenzie, “who after three years of service lost her life by the torpedoing of the hospital ship Llandovery Castle, June 27, 1918.”
Most of us had never heard of the tiny island off the coast near Hiroshima called Okonoshima. In fact, we discovered, it was also erased from many maps on purpose. Yet in this tiny space of just 4km across, things happened which still affect lives around the world today.
It's hard to hear the stories. The images are sickening. My imagination cannot grasp the kind of suffering the people of Hiroshima endured and even survived. My faith in humanity shakes when thinking of what humans did to each other and to creation.