Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Relax, God's in charge.

Love and time heal all things.  This is one of those truths which in the abstract is undeniably simple, but in the concrete is almost unfathomably difficult to accept.  Love and time heal all things.  

I am teaching one of our first year students, Vitya, how to create the slides for our worship service.  He doesn't speak a word of English, but he is incredibly patient with my Ukrainian and it has been fun to see how much he enjoys contributing to worship in any small way that he can.  

Illya Onoprienko, the Ukrainian student who died during the tragedy in Ukraine, was such a strong leader.  At night I would pray that God would call him to become a priest so that the Greek Catholic church could benefit from his humble leadership like our student organization had.  

Illya prays during one of our Pyro - student prayer services.
Illya never considered himself a leader.  But he stepped up on the leadership team and was the pillar of support for our interns when they first arrived.  He coordinated the worship services on Thursday nights.  

While Vitya and I were going through slides, I found the slides from when the leadership team preached.  Everyone who spoke that Thursday night did a great job.  But, I think that many people had never heard Illya say so much.  He was quiet by nature, and this gave his words incredible power.  This is the slide he showed during his portion of the sermon.
The background on Illya's phone - and  his daily life reminder.
 Relax, God's in charge.  It's sarcastic and funny.  It's true and poignant.  Relax, God's in charge.

Illya had been teaching me liturgy for the last few months.  Greek Catholic churches basically always use the same liturgy - but in church people don't enunciate enough for me to understand everything.  I wanted to sing along when I attended Greek Catholic services, and I asked Illya to teach me.

Illya teaching me liturgy at a service at Ukrainian Catholic University.
We sang through it.  I went to worship services at his home church. And at his funeral I sang out loudly and clearly on almost every line.  I was so thankful to understand and worship through every word. 

Relax, God's in charge.  

As we try and move forward with our ministry here in Ukraine, these words are such a comfort.  They were so helpful to Illya and they are so helpful to me.  I don't like everything that is happening around me - but I trust that God is in charge.

(?), Max Semenov, me, Illya, Nadya Nadilna - at UCU for a worship service
Illya leaves behind such an incredible witness and testimony.  He loved fully, lived fully, and laughed often.  He took his own advice, and he chose to relax and trust that God is in charge.  We would do well to do likewise.  

Dear God, you heal our brokenness.  Our hearts are troubled and weary until they find their rest in you, O Lord.  Help us to live each day in the fullness of your resurrection life.  Help us to love others and to serve others unconditionally.  Help us to choose to lay our lives down for others.  We love and praise You. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment