American Pastors Network Leaders Return from Ukraine Summit
Amid Struggles, Ukraine Looks to Biblical and Constitutional Principles for Strength, as America Shuns Founding Tenets
PHILADELPHIA—Key leaders of the American Pastors Network (APN, www.AmericanPastorsNetwork.net)recently returned from an International Leadership Summit in Ukraine, working with and encouraging pastors and elected leaders there who are making a concerted effort to embrace American ideas to restore the country.
Earlier this spring, APN was invited to the summit by Presiding Bishop Valery Reshetinsky, who also serves as the Chairman of the Ukrainian Interchurch Council that represents 20 different evangelical denominations. Reshetinsky wrote that pastors and officials attending the summit were “excited about what the American Pastors Network can do to help our government and pastoral leaders at this time of great need in our nation. It is our hope … that Almighty God hears the prayers of His people in Ukraine and around the world and permits us to govern ourselves not in corruption but through biblical principles.”
APN President Sam Rohrer said that the initial communication with Ukraine leaders was encouraging, given their commitment to strengthening the country through biblical and constitutional principles. It also proved ironic, as leaders within the American government are walking away from our Constitution while leaders in Ukraine, by contrast, are hungry to establish a government based on biblical principles.
“Our time in Ukraine gave us a glimpse into the struggles within a country that does not currently embrace God and biblical principles,” Rohrer said. “The people of Ukraine recognize that these are the principles that create and will sustain liberty, and as they move forward, they want to build a government based on them. Sadly, here in America, every day our leaders are turning away from the fundamental principles and ideals on which our country was built. The crisis in Ukraine is a wake-up call for our country.”
Rohrer added that APN leaders plan to share their experiences in Ukraine with American leaders and pastors, encouraging them to become educated about the headlines coming out of Ukraine and to apply them to their daily interactions with their communities and congregations.
“The pastors we met with in Ukraine desperately want biblically based freedom,” he said. “Here in America, we have it but are throwing it away. We must work to keep these freedoms—through our daily activities, our involvement in our churches and communities and through our voices at the ballot box.”
After the summit, APN leaders also traveled to Odessa to meet with 15 additional pastors who were unable to attend the event. There, they heard from pastors that Ukraine has experienced the same process of liberty as America when she escaped Britain’s tyranny, drawing parallels between American Revolution and the situation in Ukraine.
Gary Dull of Faith Baptist Church of Altoona, Pa., and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net), also traveled to Ukraine for the summit and said the participation of pastors and political leaders at the summit truly shows their desire to build a nation and a government on biblical principles.
“The Ukrainian people realize that they are still in existence because of God and they recognize that only by God’s grace will they be able to maintain religious freedom and biblical principles in the land,” Dull said. “What is taking place in Ukraine serves as a challenge for pastors and political leaders to work together more closely here in America. God truly worked a miracle in Ukraine last week, and the key now is to follow through with what was established at the summit. Our experience in Ukraine should be a motivation for pastors, business leaders, politicians and citizens to become involved prayerfully, financially and personally in what the Lord is doing in both Ukraine and in their own nations around the world.”
Added Rohrer, “In Ukraine, they look to us in America as the shining city on the hill. They have a peculiar identification with our founders. They know that freedom comes from relationship with God. It is not by accident. And the freedom that Ukraine is chasing is in jeopardy right here in America, where biblical principles that form the foundation of our freedom are being shunned daily.”
How does one get involved with helping the Ukrainian people get Bibles and sound preaching?