BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — The rest of the missions team from Vaughn Forest Baptist Church, Montgomery, had scheduled an earlier flight home. Brian Harris, an associate in the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions’ communications and technology services office, said he was “a little apprehensive to be ‘stuck’ (alone) in Kiev for a 6-hour layover.” Instead of staying in the airport, however, Harris ventured out to meet with Alex (also called Sasha), a native of Kiev who would escort him around town. The two men traveled to Independence Square, where fighting and riots took place just months prior. The following is an excerpt from Harris’ blog: “As we arrived, you could see well-defined blockades still in place. Tires, scrap metal, burned out shells of cars. … The blood of the “heavenly 100,” as the ones who lost their lives were called, is replaced by make shift memorials. Candles line the street. The Ukrainian army stands outside of the blockade at every entrance. I have personally never experienced standing on the grounds of a revolution that is still so fresh on the minds of everyone there. One of Sasha’s friends that joined us there, who also was the leader of the English translators on our trip and a pastor about 140km away, asked me, ‘Did you not know this place is dangerous?’ I quickly replied, ‘There are a lot of people praying for me right now while I walk your streets. I wanted to be here so that they will be able to see what the Square has become now and so others can pray for you.’ As I left my new friend, he said, ‘Please pray for us.’ I smiled shook his hand and promised to remember them, pray for them and that I would ask my friends to do the same.”
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Look for a full coverage on Ukraine in an upcoming issue of The Alabama Baptist.