ADDRESS TO PASTORS AND BELIEVERS of Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church and the "WORD OF LIFE" church of Donetsk

Dear friends, brothers and sisters - peace be to you!

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for your prayers and support in these hard times for our church, and also for your patience and faithfulness to God.

These days I receive a great number of letters and calls from people asking to clarify the situation happened to the church "Word of Life" in Donetsk, as well as to the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church (UCEC).

That is why I would like to state that during the years of our existence, the church " Word of Life" of Donetsk and UCEC suffered various persecution but we never witnessed such events. But the Word of God warns us that persecution could happen not only outside but also inside the church. Unfortunately, there are examples in the History of Christianity, when people called themselves believers but being fulfilled with ambitions and dirty motives made the Body of Christ fall apart.

As you all already know, notwithstanding my requests and exhortation not to make any hasty steps and decisions till I have a meeting with pastor Ulf, which is to take place on the 29th of January, several ministers did make divisions.

Many people ask me weather it is a real splitting up? Based on 1Cor. 1:10-13 ("Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement.... Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?"), and also Rom. 16:17 ("Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them"). I have every reason to say - yes, it is a division. There are also hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife and seditions that not me but apostle Paul wrote "....that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:20-21).

How else should I call such events happening for the last two weeks as a mass e-mail posting to the believers of the "Word of Life" church saying not to attend sermons, creating confusion and making threats and so on?

That's why I ask everyone, believers and pastors, here in Donetsk,and in Ukraine as a whole, to stay calm, to remain in peace and in God's love to each other. Don' t be afraid of those who cause divisions, whatever names they pronounce and however hard they push on you.

Don't be afraid of people, don' t be confused, but be afraid of God and most important - follow the Scripture that tells us to love everyone, notwithstanding their deeds, not to judge anyone but to forgive and to bless, as Jesus did.

Let us be moved by the Love of God and the will to do good as we are Christians!

From my part I would like to assure you that for the present moment I am a Senior Pastor of the Ukrainian Christian Evangelical Church and the church "Word of Life" in Donetsk.

There is only one church "Word of Life" in Donetsk by now, where we do every week Sunday and other sermons. The address is 100 Tkachenko str, Donetsk. You can find any additional information concerning our church activity on our official cite or through the advertisements that we make in the church.

If you have faced any of such difficulties, you are being oppressed somehow or you receive threats, you can contact me on my personal e-mail or call helpline 095 755 10 90 from 9.00 till 18.00 (Kiev time).

Dear brothers and sisters, our God Jesus Christ said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His church. We will overcome every obstacle and being clarified will yield good fruit in the Kingdom of God!

Be blessed by God!

With true love in Jesus Christ,
pastor Leonid Padun