3M: Where there is no vision

Sunday afternoon, a taxi driver named Vitalik, picked me up to take me to the airport.  The street I live on is a one way street, except for one lane that buses use to travel in the opposite direction.

As we were traveling along the road, I heard a car engine revving and witnessed a car fly by in the lane reserved for buses traveling the opposite direction.  Fortunately, there weren’t any buses and we watched as this car weaved in and out of traffic with no tags on the car.

This incident caused Vitalik to ask me if we had drivers like that in America.  I assured him that we did, but there are far fewer of them than in Ukraine.  We began discussing the wealthy people in Ukraine and their children and several horrible incidences where their children have been able to practically walk away from incidences that would mean jail time in other countries.

His conversation reminded me of numerous conversations I have had in the last 18 months while living in Ukraine:  the younger people do not have hope for real change to happen in Ukraine and they are all looking for a way out.  Just recently, I asked a group of 4th year students a the Economics university how many of them planned to look for jobs outside of Ukraine.  Every hand went up.

I can only imagine the disappointment the professors must have felt who were sitting in the room.  They are preparing these students not to be productive in their own homeland, but for them to be productive elsewhere, at least that is what the students hope.

While listening to Vitalik, my heart was broken.  I shared with him that I have spent more than 11 years in the former Soviet Union.  I have enjoyed every country I have lived in and my greatest desire is to see these countries stand on their own and succeed.  Almost eight of those years have been in Ukraine and I have really grown fond of the country, its culture and especially, its people.  I truly believe that I love Ukraine more than some of its own.

Then, God reminded me of the proverb found in Proverbs 29:18: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)  The translation I read the most, English Standard Version says, Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Where there is no vision.  I think in many ways, this describes the young people of Ukraine.  Many have told me, “If I only saw the country changing, then maybe I could believe things would be different.”  And how true is the “the people cast off restraint”.  I witnessed that with the way the driver conducted himself.

A few hours later, I arrived in Budapest.  Hungary gained its independence from communism in October 1989, less than 2 years before Ukraine.  I do not wish to compare the two countries, but let’s just say that Hungary is farther along in the process than Ukraine, which begs the question, “why isn’t Ukraine?”

While there may not be vision in Ukraine, there is hope.  It is that hope that drives me each and every day.  The hope for a better country, for a better live.  That hope is found in only one place, a relationship with Jesus Christ.  That is my vision for Ukraine.  That soon, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess: Jesus Christ is Lord.  Then and only then will there be not only hope, but vision as well.

8 thoughts on “3M: Where there is no vision

  1. Well said. I was a co-worker in Germany and often pondered the generational hopelessness that was both a spiritual barrier and bridge for the young people I met. Not surprising it is a universal condition really. And not surprising that further east it is even greater. Keep on with the work. Looking forward to hearing about it via blog.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Deanna. I am a student in this thing called life and I love how the Lord uses even the little things to teach something more than I thought I already knew. I had a conversation with a Brit living in Hungary and she shared with me that young Hungarians do not see a future here. It is universal. We must learn how to bridge the gap.

  3. Hey Joe,
    Very good article. You are right about the younger generation seeing Ukraine as having no future. I also find that a lot of good Christian people who are active in the local church are moving out of Ukraine, mostly to the USA but other countries as well. I don’t blame them for wanting a better future for their children and for themselves. Ukraine has a drain on it’s greatest resource, it’s people. Already there is 9 million people less than there was at independence.
    Many girls join dating agencies just so they can get out of Ukraine. Nearly every person I helped in English during the summer wanted to leave Ukraine and lets not forget the orphans who have little or no chance of achieving much in life.
    The verse you quoted was spot on, at the moment restraint has bee cast off and the only vision is for the politicians who don’t know how to use it for the greater good of the people they are elected to serve. I am like you Joe, I love this country!!! An old Russian proverb says “In the land of HOPE there is never any winter. There is hope in this country, it’s the spreading of Jesus Christ and his love for us.
    Love your work Joe.

  4. Ben,
    You are in the midst of it as well. It is heart breaking, considering how much I love Ukraine and its people. I really want the country and its people to succeed. Hope in Christ is the only answer…

  5. It is tine to press on and take it up a notch across the globe. This only encourages me to continue and preach the good news everywhere. There is a lot of people with no hope. I have met many Hispanic families with the “Ukraine sindrome” of no vision or hope for the future. Jesus really is the only hope!

  6. Hello Joe,
    I suspect there is plenty of hope in the U.S.A. now but you wouldn’t know it by the way a lot of folks live. Where there is life there is hope. The photo this week of the youth meeting there shows tremendous hope. It is an individual thing and God can bring it about individually. For every individual driving like an idiot that gets your attention there are 100 driving safely that you don’t notice. I hope there are a few politicians there who are serving the people. If so send them an encouraging note.
    God bless.

  7. Rafi, you are so right! Preach the Word! Millions of people around the world are searching for “it” and “it” can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

  8. John,
    I suspect you are right in many ways. Life in Christ does bring hope to a nation.
    As for the individual driving like an idiot, there probably aren’t 100 driving safely, but more than a few. The situation the driver pointed out is only systemic of what is taking place in Ukraine. Great idea about sending encouraging notes. Thanks!

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