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By David Bachelor, PhD
Pastor, Pearsall 1st Methodist Church
On March 14, 2022, the US State Department issued an advisory that all U.S. citizens should leave Ukraine. There was one group of Americans that did not do so. These Americans had no choice because they are unborn babies in the tummies of Ukrainian mothers who cannot leave.
Saturday’s Wall Street Journal carried the headline, “Ukraine Is a World Leader in Surrogacy, but Babies Are Now Stranded in a War Zone.” Not all the stranded babies are Americans. Some are French, some are German and there are others from around the globe. Ukraine’s largest surrogacy agency has 600 mothers in its pool. On the agency’s website, instructions to the surrogate mothers include, “If you hear a siren signal – immediately go down to the shelter, taking with you a minimum supply of food and water, warm clothes. It is forbidden to use the elevator during the threat of air attack.” The Wall Street Journal article notes, “the fate of hundreds of surrogate mothers carrying babies, and newborns, across the country is becoming increasingly perilous.” Some of the surrogate mothers and their children have escaped to neighboring countries. Other mothers are staying in their hometowns to be near family members defending Ukraine.
It was not just Ukraine’s surrogate babies in the headlines this week. According to a Facebook post from Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice: “More than 4,300 babies have been born in the country since the conflict with Russia began.” EuroNews reported last Thursday, “Ukraine war: Three dead as
Russian airstrike hits Mariupol maternity hospital.” The headline was accompanied by a photo of a heavily pregnant woman being carried on a stretcher.
This Monday, Al Jazeera carried the same photo
and reported the rest of the story, “Mariupol maternity ward bombing: Pregnant woman, baby die.”
Once again, the world is in an unsettled state, and history shows that when this happens babies are not safe in their mother’s womb.
Jesus said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must occur; but the end is not yet” (Matt 24:6). Eight centuries before Christ walked the earth, God revealed to the prophet Elisha what the king of a rival nation would do when the king waged war against God’s people, “He will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women;” (2 King 8:12). Jesus specifically spoke about the difficulties of being pregnant in a war zone.
Jesus told his disciples, “How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter” (Mar 13:17-18).
It is winter in Ukraine. This adds to the tragedy for these mothers and their children. To the material world the situation appears so dark. Only believers in a God who had his own innocent child killed by the military could find hope in these dark times. The Bible tells us, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’ (Rom 8:28).