Episode 532

Helping Ukraine Meet Mental Health Needs, Brothers Row To Raise Money For Send Relief & Shadow Christians

Jan 26, 2024

Believers from across the world continue to help Ukraine meet mental health needs exacerbated by Russia’s latest war on the country, a conflict nearing its second anniversary. When Timothy Hamilton texted his brothers a link to the World’s Toughest Row endurance race with the suggestion that they should participate together, not all his brothers were easily convinced. And, when you encounter the word “shadow,” what images and thoughts cross your mind? Tales have probably conditioned us to think of lurking dangers and the need for heightened awareness.

Transcript

Believers from across the world continue to help Ukraine meet mental health needs exacerbated by Russia’s latest war on the country, a conflict nearing its second anniversary.

Sandy Fields, a licensed professional counselor and mental health services provider (LPC-MHSP) in Nashville, Tenn., is among many who have helped Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary (UBTS) in Lviv train laypersons to serve as trauma helpers at 17 humanitarian WeCare centers across Ukraine.

More than 10,000 Ukrainian civilians had been killed in the war through November of 2023, the United Nations reported. And while Ukraine has not released a number of military deaths, the country’s former prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, told ABC News Jan. 9 that around 30,000 Ukrainian troops were being killed or badly wounded per month. He estimated the toll to date as 500,000 killed or wounded.
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When Timothy Hamilton texted his brothers a link to the World’s Toughest Row endurance race with the suggestion that they should participate together, not all his brothers were easily convinced.

Three years later, on Jan. 19, 2024, Hamilton, his brothers Trent and Thomas, and their nephew Ben Clark were the third team to cross the finish line after 37 days of rowing in a 30-foot-long boat across the Atlantic, raising thousands of dollars for Send Relief’s work among Afghan refugees.

After some initial back-and-forth, the four Hamilton brothers – Troy, Trent, Tim and Thomas – committed to undertaking the 3,000-mile journey primarily to strengthen their brotherly bond. Because both Troy and Trent had spent time in Afghanistan, a cause near to the family’s hearts is providing help and hope to Afghan refugees. It did not take them long to identify Send Relief as the nonprofit they wanted to support in this work.

During their row, the brothers faced intense weather, 20-foot waves, seasickness and strong winds that threatened to blow them off-course.

They raised more than $50,000 to help SendRelief’s work to Afghanis.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.

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When you encounter the word “shadow,” what images and thoughts cross your mind? Tales have probably conditioned us to think of lurking dangers and the need for heightened awareness.

But when seminary president and author Jeff Iorg writes of Shadow Christians, he has no such negative or threatening concept in mind. For Iorg, this shadow comes from residing outside the spotlight of public attention. Shadow Christians, then, are the overwhelming majority of us who serve in the background or shadows of limelight Christians.

Shadow Christians can feel unimportant and believe their contributions don’t matter, since they and their efforts reside behind the scenes and out of the spotlight. But in this session Iorg, including himself among Shadow Christians, asserts “God Values Us Highly.” Because others might not know who we are or what contributions we make doesn’t mean God is likewise unaware. Quite the opposite, He knows fully. More than that, He values us and our contributions!

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