Newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told a joint session of Congress Thursday morning that the Ukrainian people have demonstrated their commitment to freedom and that their fight to throw off oppression is a fight for which all free peoples must stand in solidarity.
As Washington's eyes are on Ukraine, at the invitation of Ukrainian leaders, the American Pastors Network has taken an active role in the rebuilding of Ukraine—politically, culturally and spiritually.
In June, APN participated by invitation in a national summit on leadership in Ukraine, providing government and pastoral leaders guidance and a pathway for establishing a new government based on biblical principles and the Rule of Law. Future summits focusing on education and the Constitution are already being planned.
APN President Sam Rohrer said Poroshenko's speech is clear proof that the country is yearning for freedom undergirded by a Constitution that only biblical principles can build.
"The president's speech [Thursday] morning to Congress appealed to the one body of leaders who have it within their power to advance the cause of freedom or fuel the fires of tyranny," Rohrer says. "He didn't say, 'Fight our battles for us,' he asked for help with the tools necessary for them to fight the battle—that in reality is our battle today.
"Ukraine's quest for freedom is reminiscent of the voice of our Founders who, generations ago, appealed to the God of heaven to hear their prayers to build a new nation that would be a shining city on a hill. The question is, will we in America stand by them and let our light shine so theirs does not flame out?"
In his address, Poroshenko said, "It's impossible to imagine how I am feeling right now—how symbolic is the unity of the United States Congress and solidarity with Ukraine. This is exactly what Ukraine needs most right now—unity and solidarity, not only with the United States, the United States Congress, but with the whole world."
Earlier this month APN unveiled its special "Ukraine Initiative: Out of the Ashes | Freedom Reborn" website at ukraineinitiative.com, a centralized place for Ukraine updates and ongoing projects. Key to APN's current efforts is providing humanitarian aid, and APN's International Projects Coordinator, pastor Dale Armstrong, has traveled to Ukraine numerous times over the past few months. After his time there, APN has committed to meeting some of the most immediate and crucial humanitarian needs, including water-purification tablets, QuikClot Bandages, which help stop bleeding quickly, and individual medical kits for soldiers.
"The move toward freedom in Ukraine shows that the desire for liberty is universal and knows no national boundaries," Armstrong explains. "Our nation became the beacon of liberty because it was built on Judeo-Christian principles and the Rule of Law. As APN is providing much-needed humanitarian aid in Ukraine, we're continuing to build relationships that will open doors to answering the call of the Ukrainian people to help them strengthen their government through the integration of biblical principles into a new Constitution."
According to a White House statement, Thursday and in the coming days President Obama will communicate "the United States' firm commitment to stand with Ukraine as it pursues democracy, independence and stability."
Furthermore, "President Obama looks forward to discussing with President Poroshenko efforts to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine as well as our continued support for Ukraine's struggle to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity."
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