What Ukraine Has Taught Me About Hope

Good afternoon from Westminster, MD!

Watching the events in Ukraine has been heartbreaking. Hearing stories of lives being taken, communities destroyed, and children displaced unnecessarily has left me feeling angry. This act of evil reveals the level of brokenness that exists in our world. The truth is it can leave you feeling hopeless.

That is, until you see how the people of Ukraine have stepped up in the face of hopelessness. Over the past few weeks I have been struck by the incredible resolve and hope of the Ukrainian people. From President Zelenskyy to normal people on the street and everyone in between, they have decided all is not lost. The hope they have has inspired the world and allowed them to stand up against the attacks of a more powerful opponent by all earthly standards.

It would be hard to find a better picture of the power of hope. It is not a wishy-washy “I hope this works out” kind of hope. It is a foundational “we were created for more” kind of hope that allows a person to see beyond their present circumstances. It calls everyone, from the most to the least powerful, to decide it does not have to be this way. It creates an almost beyond human understanding ability to fight for the life for which one was created. Real hope is a powerful force.

Real hope turns “regular people” into world changers. Take the story of Olena, a Ukrainian woman and friend of a friend, who has taken it upon herself to buy supplies, transport people, and provide assistance to disabled orphans who had to flee their orphanage, all while putting herself in harms way. Olena has nothing to gain and everything to lose, but her hope for herself, the people she is helping, and her country has called her to something more. Olena shows us that we all have what it takes to make a difference and bring hope to others. While I do not know Olena personally, the way she lives tells me she has a hope that propels her beyond her current realities. Thank you for inspiring me, and so many more, Olena.

Stories like this gives me hope for the future of the people of Ukraine. I do not know what the short term future holds, but I do believe their hope will endure beyond it. The present darkness will not be the end of the story. The light of hope that lives inside of them will, one day, allow them to write a different ending.

This should force each of us to ask ourselves how we can make a difference. The inspiration we gain from the people of Ukraine should drive us to action. You have what it takes to make a difference. Olena shows us this. Patricia and her family, my friends who have been raising and sending support to Olena shows us this. It is “regular people” with irregular hope who change lives, communities, and the world.

It is time for you to jump in! If you are looking for an easy step, send a donation to my friend Patricia to support Olena and the critical work she is doing in Ukraine (just comment below to receive more information on donating!). I have also created a free resource to walk you through steps I took in my journey to live a more impactful, hope-filled life. Just click here to sign up to get the 5 Foundational Steps to Make a True Difference in Someone’s Life.

There is hope for Ukraine and it should produce hope in each of us.

James Belt

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