From Lyuda (Day 289): Dear brothers and sisters, This morning is rainy and gloomy and all day yesterday was the same. We went to the funeral to say good bye to my former student Vanya who died in the battle two weeks ago. The funeral took place in the village where he was born and grew up and all people of the village came.
Some of his friends-soldiers came from the front line with his body to honor his memory. Their eyes were so sad and at the same time full of determination. I saw the eyes like this in some old photos of WWII.
Sergey and I were impressed by the orthodox priest who did the funeral ceremony. He spoke Ukrainian, quoted Scripture and presented the gospel, which was very comforting for the family and all people. Then he did something very unusual for an orthodox priest- he gave his testimony.
In our Russian speaking area all orthodox churches belong to Russian denomination. It is sad to see how last eight years instead of gospel the priests of these churches preached politics and Russian propaganda telling people that we should submit to Russian because we are one nation and expressing open hatred to Ukrainian culture and language. They also express open hatred to all other churches, many Russian spies are able to do their activity in Ukraine covered by the orthodox church.
This priest told that he was one of Russian priests in Ukraine who lived the life of comfort and power but in 2014 when Russia first started aggression against Ukraine it challenged him to look through his values and choose whether he will serve God or Moscow dictator.
He chose to serve God and revive Ukrainian orthodox church which brought Christianity to Kiev Rus principality in 988. It was his own war when he was threatened and cursed by other priests, but he firmly stood on his position.
It’s interesting that while he was talking some people in the crowd turned away and left but they were few. Please, pray for the Orthodox Christians in our country to seek the truth and follow Christ.
Our youth group gathered for their meeting in the church yesterday and there was no electricity there. But they didn’t care because they enjoyed their time together, soon Sergey came and started the generator and they continued their meeting with light.
We plan to have a rehearsal and plan the details of Christmas program today.
Thank you for your prayers and for your help.