We woke up on February 24th 2022 to celebrate Estonia's Independence day. Our celebrations became somber as we heard of Russia's attack on Ukraine's sovereignty with bombs falling on Kyiv.

At the Independence Day, our president Alar Karis and government members wore blue-yellow ribbons in support of Ukraine. Even military officers wore it on their uniform! This is how much sorrow we feel over this situation.

Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas spoke with concern and resolve. She was sharing how at Estonia's birth, back in 1918, every man, woman and child defended our freedom against Russia's overwhelming attack. Everyone did their part. Back then we did not even know what the Republic of Estonia would truly look like, we trusted our people to lead the country well. We were successful. Now, in 2022, we have been free from occupation for 30 years and we know that Estonia is a place well worth defending. So is Ukraine.

It is with concern when I hear some (few but loud) voices in the US media stating "surely, we will not fight for places like Estonia which are only the size of Maine". Some people do not understand that you cannot wish the war away. The war is at our doorstep weather we like it or not. It will impact security, it will impact economics around the world. It is more than likely that what happened in Ukraine will not stop there, this steamroller will only stop when it is met with equal resistance or a miracle. It is time to focus on planning and praying like king Hezekiah when he saw that Sennacherib is on his way. He secured water and walls and he led people to pray (2 Chronicles 32:1-23).

Let these Hezekiah's words also comfort us: "“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”

We call everyone to pray for Ukraine and for the Eastern Europe at this time. We have seven students from Ukraine, two from Belarus and nine from Russia who are all in need of our prayers right now. Also, remember the seminary!

Külli Tõniste, Rector

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