Many people have headed to the western city of Lviv, which is less than 50 miles from the Polish border, in the hope of fleeing the fighting in Ukraine.
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1 Corinthians:9:24-26 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.James:4:4
But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.Daniel:11:43 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. Proverbs:7:16-20 And saying, Alas, alas that GREAT CITY, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!Revelation:18:16
Thursday 3 March 2022 10:53, UK
Sky’s Adam Parsons is in Lviv – the last major Ukrainian city people will see before they cross the border into Poland.
Lviv’s train station is big and bold, a landmark in a city that is known for its architecture and now a gateway for those attempting to flee their country.
This is the main station for trains across the border to Poland, and every train that leaves here is full.
But there are also lots of people arriving in this city from across Ukraine, those who want to find sanctuary away from the fighting, but who are not prepared to leave their country.
Image:Lviv has become the gateway to peace for many Ukrainians. Pic AP
Igor is cradling his young daughter when we talk, calming her cries and, perhaps, also soothing himself.
He, along with his wife, children, sister and brother-in-law, had just fled Kharkiv.
They had spent four nights in a basement, hiding from explosions.
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Then they would spend the day in a flat that was less than a kilometre from the administrative building.
Image:Trains and buses heading for Poland are usually packed. Pic AP
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‘Our city is bombed now’
When it was hit by a devastating missile attack, they decided it was time to go.
Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.Micah:2:10
“We need to leave our city because our city is bombed now. For last two days, the centre of the city and many buildings in our city were bombed. Houses with people in them…” Igor’s voice trails off, but his sister, Anna, carries on.
THE LORD’S CITY OF REFUGE:Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.1 Chronicles:19:13 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.2 Samuel:10:12. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.Psalm:46:1
Image:For the moment, Lviv is a relatively safe city. Pic AP
“There were a lot of dead people because they bombed our houses,” she tells me, angry and lucid.
“They didn’t bomb military objects – they bombed houses. So a lot of children and people are dead.
“Yesterday was a horrible day. We left on a train when there were bombs and rockets. We sat on the train like this,” and she pushes her head down into her neck, and raises her arms over her head – a picture of terror.
A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.
Isaiah:21:2 Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.Ezekiel:21:6
Elderly woman to walk to a border crossing
Another woman sat with her elderly mother, watching us broadcast live.
They looked utterly exhausted. I smiled at her and she tried to smile back, and then simply burst into tears, rocking in desperate misery as her mother looked on, helpless.
Image:Many have come to Lviv from the east, where the fighting has devastated communities. Pic AP
Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;Isaiah:43:5…. They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD.Hosea:11:10-11. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.John:14:2
So I did what anyone would do – I gave her a hug and offered her my cup of coffee. It turned out that mother and daughter had fled Kyiv, terrified.
They were now waiting for a car to take them as near to the border as possible and would walk the rest of the way.
And that is what has happened to Ukraine.
An elderly woman, walking through freezing weather to get to a border crossing in order to flee the country she loves.
For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.Isaiah:62:1 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. Zechariah:1:14 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.Psalm:128:4-5
Lviv is the barometer
Lviv may be the staging post for people to reach safety, but it is also a barometer of how this country has been encompassed by shock, dread and misery.
Image:The Polish border is roughly 70km from Lviv. Pic AP
The city is normally home to 700,000 people but now Lviv is in flux, with people arriving and departing in great numbers every day.
The square opposite the station looks like a small refugee camp, with people huddling around fires for warmth and volunteers handing out food, soup and water.
This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: Acts:7:38Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.Isaiah:16:4
Firewood is burnt to power water boilers, creating an acrid smoke that lingers over the area. Just a few metres away, children jump around in a small playground.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
The resilience of the Ukrainian people is remarkable, but what really touches you is this – the sight of children laughing and smiling while their parents worry about the ripples of war.
LITTLE CHILDREN: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Lviv is playing the role of Ukraine’s backup
Sky News correspondent John Sparks meets people who have made the difficult decision to leave their homeland
Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.Psalm:119:54
Lviv’s traffic grinds along. While cities in eastern and southern Ukraine look deserted, this one can trick you into thinking life is normal.
It turns out that a traffic jam can be a comforting touchstone to normal life. That is until you reach a checkpoint surrounded by homemade anti-tank installations.
Our vehicle was checked by three different people. At the door, a young man stood watching on, his uniform hanging off him.
He looked young – 17 or 18 – and he smiled and waved at us like an excited schoolboy. From his shoulder, an AK-47 hung down.
Ukraine is now full of people who’ve been given a uniform and a gun and told to get on with it.
WHICH GARMENT? WHICH WEAPON?
And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.Matthew:22:11-12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.Romans:13:12
The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.
Through spiritualism, Satan appears as a benefactor of the race, healing the diseases of the people, and professing to present a new and more exalted system of religious faith; but at the same time he works as a destroyer. His temptations are leading multitudes to ruin. Intemperance dethrones reason; sensual indulgence, strife, and bloodshed follow. Satan delights in war, for it excites the worst passions of the soul and then sweeps into eternity its victims steeped in vice and blood. It is his object to incite the nations to war against one another, for he can thus divert the minds of the people from the work of preparation to stand in the day of God.
Satan works through the elements also to garner his harvest of unprepared souls. He has studied the secrets of the laboratories of nature, and he uses all his power to control the elements as far as God allows GC 588.3 – GC 589.2
For the moment, Lviv is a relatively safe city. The air raid sirens go off when they are tested, but nobody here takes them seriously. Not yet anyway, but who really knows what will happen in this ghastly, unpredictable war?
I saw the rapidity with which this delusion was spreading. A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board, that there could not be one left. Said the angel, “They are binding in bundles ready to burn.” Then he showed me the conductor, who appeared like a stately, fair person, whom all the passengers looked up to and reverenced. I was perplexed and asked my attending angel who it was. He said, “It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie, that they may be damned. This agent, the next highest in order to him, is the engineer, and other of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them, and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition.” EW 88.2
Instead, this is a city with a role as the nation’s backup plan: “Get to Lviv, and things will be better” is the mantra for many.
And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
But as you watch the tears rolling down the faces of tired, scared new arrivals, the optimism feels meagre.
Still the people poured in from the towns about, and the trains came loaded with their living freight. After an intermission of thirty minutes (Revelation 8:1), Mrs. White ascended the platform, amid the profound stillness of that vast multitude, and addressed the people on the subject of Christian temperance. Her original and comprehensive manner of handling this subject elicited the highest commendation of all that heard.
The morning trains were crowded, but the noon trains flooded the grove, and the two-thirty train from Lawrence brought fifteen cars literally packed with people, the platform and steps were full also, and the conductor was obliged to take the roof in order to signal the engineer. He reported that it would have taken twenty-five cars to bring all the people who were waiting at the depot to take passage for the campground (The Signs of the Times, September 14, 1876).
Of the experience Ellen White wrote:
What a scene is before me! It is estimated that twenty thousand people are assembled in this grove. The third train, of fifteen cars, has just arrived. Every seat was filled and every foot of standing room, also the platform and the steps. A sea of human heads is already before me, and still the cars are to come. This is to me the most solemn sight I ever beheld. Hundreds in carriages are driving away because they cannot get within sound of the speaker’s voice (Ibid.).
All standing room throughout the entire enclosure was taken, and some, like Zacchaeus, climbed trees to get sight of the speaker. The vast throng gave good attention. Ellen White, speaking slowly with a low, well-supported voice, made them hear. WV 186.3 – WV 186.7