Check out these testimonies of a few of the Pastors that are supported through the Sponsor-a-Pastor program. Read some of these testimonies to understand the impact of the sponsor-a-pastor program in the lives of pastors in Ukraine and Belarus.
Pastor Alexander A.
Pastor Alexander was born into a Christian home and was taught about Christ since his childhood. He suffered persecution at school for going to church with his parents but he learned to deal with it as this was part of being in believer in Soviet times. When he was 17, God answered a specific prayer of his and that’s when Alexander put his trust in the Lord completely. After high school he served in the army where God protected him from injury and death which was a witness to his fellow soldiers.
Alexander’s parents were a great influence on him and helped him through their Godly example. His mom advised him to pray for God’s direction for his life and that’s when God called him to be a pastor. He attended Bible College and went on to pastor Sulamita Church in Veselinovka, Ukraine, a community of 1500 people. They are fortunate to own their own building for church services. Although there are many problems in this village such as high unemployment, the church reaches out to the local people with programs for pre-school kids and a summer camp. Alexander is married to Valentina and they are blessed with eight children whom they love dearly.
Pastor Alexander says, “The pastors sponsorship program is a great blessing for me and my family. Your support gives us practical answers to our prayers.”
Pastor Vladimir C.
Pastor Vladimir was raised in a home where nobody believed in God. He was always into scrapes in high school and by college was drinking heavily. Despair set in and Vladimir thought that suicide was the only escape. One winter night as he gazed up at the stars, he realized that only a “master artist” could have designed the world. At that moment the trust about God became reality in his heart, Vladimir surrendered his life to Jesus and began to change. He started a Bible study with fellow students in his dorm room which led to God calling him to become a pastor.
Vladimir attended Bible College for 2 ½ years. When he graduated his was asked to take Holy Trinity Church in Hovobelaya, Ukraine. He, his wife, Tatiana, and daughters Julia and Anya settled into pastoral ministry in this community of 20,000 people where the church owns its building. The town has high unemployment, alcoholism and witchcraft but Vladimir and the members of the church do what they can to help local seniors and families without jobs. Overcoming mistrust in the town is a hurdle Vladimir and the church congregation are working hard to overcome.
Pastor Vladmir says, “I thank God for you. The Canadian sponsorship program is a blessing from God for us. Your support comes when I need it most. It is a great help for my family.”
Pastor Roman G.
Pastor Roman was very seriously into sports and athletics as a small boy but got involved with gangs and organized crime as a young teenager. His first prayer was when he was caught by a rival gang who was set to kill him. Roman cried out to God for his protection. Miraculously, the other gang members let him go. God sent many believers to witness to Roman and little by little his resistance was worn down until he gave his heart to Jesus at age 18. He has never regretted turning his life over to the Lord.
After his Bible School training, Roman was asked to pastor Praise Church in Lutugino, a community of 18,000 in the far east of Ukraine. They have their own church building and have started six daughter churches in the area. Together the congregations reach out to the local hospital, work with seniors and have several home groups. They also run two rehab centres as drug addiction and alcoholism are rampant in the community. Roman and his wife, Katerina, have two young children – Eve and Daniel.
Pastor Roman says, “Thank you for your care and participation in our lives. May the Lord bless you abundantly. I am grateful for all your prayers for us. With your support, I am able to pay my bills and help others.”
Pastor Vasily I.
Pastor Vasily was born into a family where his Dad was a firm communist. His mom and grandma attended the Orthodox Church which got Vasily interested in Godly things. Just as communism dissolved in 1991, Vasily began attending outreach services with a Christian friend who led him to Christ. God healed Vasily from TB when Jesus appeared to him in his hospital bed. This had a profound effect on his life and led him to give his life in full time Christian ministry.
After 2 years of Bible College, Vasily was asked to pastor Father’s House Church in Krivoy Rog, Ukraine, a city of 650,000. He and his wife, Marina, settled into pastoral ministry with their two daughters, Anastasia and Victoria. Although the church must rent a hall for their services, they manage to reach out to seniors in need, minister in a TB hospital and lead street evangelism teams. The congregation faces many challenges in this industrial city with a high rate of addiction, unemployment, crime, family break up and health issues. Vasily, himself, has spent several years in ill health and has had two follow up surgeries to correct problems caused by doctors who did not operate correctly on his a gall bladder.
Pastor Vasily says, “Thanks to our participation in the pastors sponsorship program, we see God’s love in a real way. This year was a year of success for my family. Our youngest daughter, Victoria finished public school and our oldest daughter got first prize in a geography contest for 150 city schools.”