Ukrainian chaplain killed during church service

08-02-2023

Eastern Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

Chaplain Yaroslav Pavenko (first from the right) together with some of his military colleagues. Photo Facebook, Українська Церква Християн Віри Євангельської/Ukrainian Pentecostal Church

The Ukrainian chaplain Yaroslav Pavenko was killed by shelling on Saturday. He died while preaching to Ukrainian soldiers.

Pavenko served in the military as a chaplain with two others. Their group was hit by a missile, Invictory reports, based on CHVE.org.ua.

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Photo Facebook, Українська Церква Християн Віри Євангельської/Ukrainian Pentecostal Church

Even though the chaplain wore a helmet and a bullet-proof vest, a fragment of the shell flew under his protection, says Volodymyr Streltsov, the coordinator of the service of military chaplains of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to CHVE, the news site of the Pentecostals. The attendees of the sermon rushed to their preacher and prayed for him.

The chaplain was brought to the hospital but passed away on the way there. "I will never forget the last moment when Arthur [one of the other chaplains, ed], holding his brother's head, prayed like a chaplain. I think God gave us this time. The last thing Yaroslav said was: "I'm going to heaven!" And then he left", says Streltsov.

Yaroslav Pavenko had been the chaplain of the 26th artillery brigade in Ukraine. He worked in the army as a volunteer, since number of Pentecostal chaplains is limited. He started his pastoral work already when he was 14 years old, Invictory writes. The website calls him a "minister, a loving husband and father of a young daughter."

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