My wife and I recently concluded a second trip to Ukraine teaching lessons that focus on combat traumatic stress and discipleship. The sessions are offered through the Institute of Leadership, Management, and Coaching at the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary in Lviv. This was the second of four sessions with two more scheduled in 2024.

I also had the opportunity to speak with professors and students in the psychology department at the Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University in Lutsk on Posttraumatic Growth. The presented materials were well received with requests for additional resources on posttraumatic growth, secondary traumatic stress, moral injury, and new treatments being offered to American combat veterans with PTSD.

My wife shared with the Ukrainian spouses on the strength, resiliency, and support needed among military families. The class was overwhelmed to see our love and support for their nation as we traveled to be present with them in class during a time of war. This is important for both of us as being present with those who are suffering is very important. It is easy to say no or try to conduct classes through online video, but Christians are called to share in the suffering so to comfort with the comfort that we have experienced as a military family with multiple combat deployments. Being in person for these discussions are extremely important and my wife and I look forward to returning in 2024.

While in Lutsk, we had pizza with Ukrainian veterans and wounded military. We laughed and shared stories. I even met a man that spent time at the airport in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. That shared geographical location between two veterans who fought in two different wars created a bond as we enjoyed talking together. I encouraged the Ukrainian warriors to form support groups and organizations as we have in the USA to ensure no veteran or military family walks alone. The war will one day end and the support will only increase. And as military veterans, our tribe must continue supporting each other and voicing our ongoing medical, mental, and spiritual health concerns as we fulfilled our duties with honor.

The lessons taught at the Seminary in Lviv were on Christians and Warfare, Transforming Civilians into Soldiers, Understanding Posttraumatic Growth, and Renewing Identity and Purpose. The lessons are supplemental topics for the Beyond Suffering materials used for teaching on disability ministries. The supplemental topics for next year include an Integrated Approach to Care, Spiritual Disciplines and Discipleship, Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Forgiveness and Hope, and the Importance of Quality Sleep and Rest.

Additionally, we are grateful for the hospitality that Agape Ukraine as they hosted our stay in Lutsk when we first arrived. Agape Ukraine serves the Ukrainian people through disability services and humanitarian assistance. Members of Agape Ukraine provided drivers to transport us the entire time! Amazing people, amazing organization! You can learn more about Agape Ukraine here

Until then, keep up the good fight!

Victory in Ukraine! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Praying for True Peace!

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