Dear Pastor Sunday,
This letter is an expression of my gratitude to God for your labor, your fatherly love and care and your teachings which have changed my life completely. I joined the Embassy of God church 3 and half years ago.
While in the church that I first committed my life to Christ, was not enabling me to grow. We were taught to labor for God’s grace, we were told to forget our parents and families and instead register ourselves as residents of a ‘new’ city…and for sure we did. No one taught us to take personal responsibility for our lives in areas of education, careers and work towards creating a legacy for our children. We were taught to forsake our families and we were threatened that if we go back we doomed for a curse! The reason we were kept in the church was basically to undergo rehabilitation and eventually serve within the church.
For those who would marry (of course within the church) were provided with 2000 hryvnas (=$250) and a room in a rented accommodation. I too eventually got married to a man who was just 1 year and 7 months in the church; the marriage was arranged. Prior that, now one taught us family values, how to relate to your spouse, how to take care and raise children… Imagine two former drug addicts still in rehabilitation getting married; what kind of a family they are starting! Anyway, after getting married, my husband changed, started abusing me physically and verbally and by that time I was expecting our first child. Despite such distress, I could not even open up to anyone as I fear inflicting shame on myself. Eventually we were excommunicated from the church as my husband’s violent behavior went out hand, when he beat up a house mate who was on rehabilitation. Even though the church wanted me to stay behind, I chose to relocate to Kiev with my husband.
Before moving to Kiev, my former pastor used to mock the Embassy of God church…telling us that it was a church founded on ‘useless’ teachings – the importance of education and work/career…
I knew a couple of friends who were already members and I realized that they had gone to Universities…oh I felt sorry for them because I thought they have backslid and that they will never have time to serve God. Anyway, after relocating to Kiev, I decided to visit following an invitation.
Initially, it was hard for me to get used to the teachings as I kept on referring to the old teachings I was used to from my old church.
Slowly but surely, I started to understand, I went to University, became a member of your Home Group, started having personal retreats, I became an active member of an NGO and the Social Council of Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kiev, I started to work for the Social Services – Department of Children – in Svyatoshin district. I also became the Secretary of the First Deputy in Regiony Party…Prior to all these I had planned to just be a cleaner in Kiev.
Currently I am divorced from my husband who continued with his abusive behavior at times abusing me in front of our children, became unfaithful to our marriage…I just reached a point I could not handle it any longer. Before divorce we had separated for 1 and half years, thus I raised my children all along.
As of today, I can testify that my life has completely changed; I am a happy and free person, I have found a father who took me as his daughter. I have learnt to take responsibility not only for my own life, but also for others.
Today I influence the world and people look up unto me as their role model. Initially people thought that I was just wasting my time and were laughing at me thinking that I will go back to drugs. Such negative wishes never came to pass because I met you, pastor, who helped me to bring out my personality and shaped my destiny by presenting yourself as a caring father, by imparting your values into my life. Had I not come to the Embassy of God, my life will still have been a nightmare. The fatherly love and care that you gave me is a proof that you have a relationship with the Father.
I am grateful to God that I am living at such a time like this to meet a person like you!
Translated by Valeriia Maschenko
Edited by June Bugenyi