February 25, 2022 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Led by Campus Pastor Jonathan Falwell during Friday morning’s Convocation, Liberty University students took time to pray for the country of Ukraine. The Office of Spiritual Development also scheduled a special prayer time in the Worley Prayer Chapel from 3-5 p.m. Friday.
On Thursday, Russia launched an invasion, sending troops into Ukraine from three fronts and firing missiles on several locations near the capital city of Kyiv.
“We live in a crazy world today,” Falwell told the arena full of 10,000 students. “We live in a world that is out of control and we’ve seen over these last 24-36 hours the fragility that is taking place in Ukraine and Russia, the dangers we are seeing and how so many people are under bombardment by the Russian military. And we’ve seen the fear that is pictured in newspapers and on websites of Ukrainian citizens that are hiding, that are living in metro stations to get away from the bombing that is taking place.”
“It’s a tough, tough time not just in that region, but it’s a tough season in our world,” he added.
Falwell encouraged students to pray for those in Russia, too.
“There are so many Russian citizens who are horrified by what they are seeing their government do,” Falwell said. “And so we know it’s a difficult time.”
Falwell also recognized and prayed for Liberty University Police Department security services officer Ilona Penner, a native of Ukraine who traveled to America when she was 16 years old. Penner’s family still resides in Ukraine and one of her cousins is on the front lines with the Ukrainian Army. He prayed for other Liberty students who have ties to the country or have family members in the military who may be called to serve during the conflict.
“In the midst of a dangerous world, we are reminded that we serve a God who can overcome anything,” Falwell said. “And so today, we want to pray for God to intervene and for God to bring peace in that region, peace in that area of the world which again really touches all of us, as represented by the fact that one of our own is sitting here watching her own family in harm’s way.”