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Ukraine: Adventists tell stories of hope, part 3

Ukraine: Adventists tell stories of hope, part 3

Exploded ammunition from the fighting (credit: D. Mishenin)

Donetsk, Ukraine, July 30, 2014 [Adventist Review; CD EUDNews]. Life is returning to normal in Kramatorsk and Sloviansk after the central government regained control in recent days. But church members won’t soon forget their nightmarish existence of livin

July 31, 2014 | Adventist Review; Cd EUDNews

Donetsk, Ukraine [Adventist Review; Cd EUDNews]. Life is returning to normal in Kramatorsk and Sloviansk after the central government regained control in recent days. But church members won’t soon forget their nightmarish existence of living in basements and cellars, sometimes for days without electricity, gas and water.

One church member in Sloviansk told of how he went into his vegetable garden shortly before Ukrainian forces recaptured his city and heard the buzz of a flying projectile. He quickly hid behind a shed and saw a blinding explosion decimate the spot where he had stood moments earlier.

The church building in Sloviansk also survived the violence, although the thunder of bombshells made it impossible for members to hear the sermon one Sabbath. So the believers knelt and prayed for the remainder of the worship service, Pastor Andrew V. Orlovsky said.

The only damage to the church occurred in late May when unknown assailants broke in through a window and stole satellite equipment and kitchen appliances. They fled by breaking down a door.

No Adventist churches have sustained damage other than broken windows, church leaders said. In some cities, entire apartment blocks have been destroyed and the only building left standing is the Adventist church minus its window frames.

A similar scene has played out at apartment buildings and private houses where Adventists live. Nearby structures are shattered, but the Adventists’ homes stand intact, the leaders said.

Biaggi, the Euro-Asia Division president, said the extent of the damages in the Eastern Ukrainian Mission, which has a total of 72 churches, remained unclear and he was waiting for a final report.

“We also are making plans to search for financial support to help them repair those damaged chapels,” he said.

The division’s Executive Committee, working together with ADRA, recently approved an action plan for eastern Ukraine.

In addition, staff at the Moscow-based division office are remembering eastern Ukraine daily during morning worship and a special 15-minute prayer session before lunch, Biaggi said.

“We are praying earnestly for peace in the region, and for the Lord to comfort with His infinite mercy and compassion those families who have lost dear ones, especially with the news in recent days of the many who died in the Malaysia Airlines plane crash,” he said.

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