By Sophie Higby
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been high for decades, but over the past few weeks, Russian President Vladamir Putin has sent Russian forces into Ukraine to invade. Many countries around the globe, as well as their citizens, have responded by showing support for Ukraine during this turbulent time.
Though it is difficult to imagine what two college students from halfway across the world can do to help, Samford students Maggie Mulder and Sarah South organized a prayer meeting for Ukraine outside of Reid Chapel on March 2 at 6 p.m.
Mulder and South came up with the idea after spending the summer of 2021 on a mission trip in Ukraine. They planned on returning this summer and now feel helpless for the people they love in a place they love. The two came up with the idea of a prayer night.
“Being in Alabama, not many people know what’s going on, and so we just thought of anything to spread the word,” Mulder said. “You don’t have to have a connection to Ukraine to be able to pray for them.”
Mulder and South reached out to their friends and loved ones to seek their counsel on how to best help.
“We have a lot of connections there and know a lot of people. They’ve been updating us–the Ukrainians, the missionaries–and the only thing we can really do from far away is pray,” South added.
Mulder and South were unsure of how many people would show up to the prayer night.
“It could be the two of us and that would be awesome, it could be a hundred people and that would be awesome. We are grateful for anything,” they said.
Dozens of students filed outside of Reid Chapel. Worship music played while students gathered in groups to pray for the leaders and citizens of Ukraine.
Junior Julia Spruiell echoed the sentiments of Mulder and South.
“I think Ukraine really needs prayers right now, and there’s just nothing like the supernatural power of God and the way He can move in other places, no matter where you’re praying from,” Spruiell said.
This prayer night is not the only way Samford is responding to the crisis in Ukraine. According to emails sent to the Samford community, on Thursday, March 17, General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance Elijah Brown came to Samford to speak on the Baptist World Alliance’s efforts to help those in Ukraine and all over the world. Samford has hosted several other prayer meetings as well, including one led by former Ukrainian missionary Mike Manna.
As the crisis in Ukraine intensifies, students are encouraged to keep praying and seeking ways to support those overseas.