Pastor Suko’s updates and “13 Truths I Want to Tell Vladimir Putin!”

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2015/02/02 • Analysis & Opinion, Op-ed

Article by: Caleb Suko

“Sunday, the Seahawks lost their Superbowl in a tragic defeat.
Sunday 20 Ukrainians lost their lives in heavy shelling.”

This is how Pastor Caleb Suko, Vice President of Church Ministries Institute and resident of Odesa, Ukraine, started his latest Facebook update on February 1, 2015.

The following updates are from January 29-30 and include a letter to Russian President Putin, addressing several points of Kremlin propaganda:

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January 30

Ukrainian troops seem to be losing ground, pray for these towns that were once peaceful and are now at the center of the fighting! ‪#‎Debaltseve‬‪#‎Uglegorsk‬ ‪#‎Vuhlehirsk‬ Here’s a kindergarten hit by rebel mortar fire recently.

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January 29

World leaders like Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, have great power and influence. Their decisions can lead to the life and death of thousands if not millions. It is vital that they base their decisions on truth and not lies.

As a resident of Ukraine and as a Russian speaker, I want to share these 13 truths with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

1. Your soldiers are in Ukraine.

Call them back!

2. Your tanks and your guns are in Ukraine.

Pull them out!

3. The lives of innocent Ukrainian women and children are more important than your political ambitions.

Stop the bloodshed!

4. Ukraine is not Russia.

Stop trying to make it Russia.

5. Ukrainians are not Nazis or Fascists.

Stop pretending like they are!

6. Ukraine has not invaded or attacked anyone.

Stop trying to fool the world into thinking that they did!

7. I’ve never experienced the slightest persecution for speaking Russian in Ukraine.

Don’t pretend this is all about language!

8. The power you hold was given to you by God, and he can take from you, too.

Humble yourself before him before he humbles you!

9. One day you will be held accountable for all your actions, all of them!

Seek forgiveness now!

10. None of the deaths in this bloody war will ever give you whatever it is you’re really seeking.

Stop chasing after the wind!

11. There’s only one death that can give you what you really need and it’s the death of Jesus Christ.

Turn to him now!

12. Only Jesus can bring true peace to you and the Russian and Ukrainian people.

Fall on your knees before him in repentance!

13. God loves you and he’s willing to forgive you if you believe in Jesus.

Believe in him!

 

Editor’s Note:  Pastor Suko is married to Christina, a Ukrainian native (born and raised when Ukraine was part of USSR).  They have five children and feel it is an honor to serve local churches in Odesa, Ukraine.

Edited by: Lisa Spencer
Source: Suko Family Blog
Source: Facebook – Caleb Suko
Source: Graphic: from The Telegraph

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  • canuke

    Wow, what a letter. How can anyone argue against what Pastor Suko says?

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Thanks for the encouraging words. Please pray for Ukraine!

  • evanlarkspur

    Pastor Suko, bless you and your family for the work you are doing in Ukraine. As our Western leaders dither, looking foremost to protect the money and worrying about the lives of innocents second, it falls to everyday people to act with the honor, compassion and integrity that our leaders have lost. Thank you for doing exactly this. You are an inspiration.

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Thank you! We are blessed and honored to be able to serve the people of Ukraine!

    • smack41

      I hope we “dither” long enough so that our leaders in the US consider the consequences of military intervention. My sympathies to the innocents – Ukrainians and Russians…but please, for the love of Jesus – we as Christians have got to stop thinking that there is such a thing as righteous military action.

      • evanlarkspur

        I am not a Christian. I use the term “bless” from the standpoint of humanity, not on behalf of any diety. I don’t have to share the Pastor’s belief in his God to value and honor the good work he does.

        I’ll let you make proclamations about what qualifies as “righteous”; I am not qualified to do so. However, I will speak to what I think is “right.” I believe you are engaging in very dangerous and naive semantics; calling the defense of innocents “war” in order to condemn it. If a man is charging toward family with an upraised machete, I will harm or kill him if necessary to stop him from harming them, and for me, whether “righteous” or not, this violence in response to violence would be “right.” In such a circumstance, I’ll gladly submit to the judgement of your God on my actions.

        Putins thugs are systematically butchering Ukrainians. I know; I have close friends and family in Donetsk and elsewhere in Donbas, all suffering near to death. As all else has failed to stop Putins thugs, I believe violent action to do so is now warranted.

        All that is required for evil to prevail is for good people to stand by and do nothing.

        • smack41

          No – all that is required for evil to prevail is for people to increase fighting evil with more evil – US military intervention in Ukraine will result in far more devastation than what your family is experiencing now. The US is a nuclear superpower – any confrontation between Russia and the US in the Ukraine will be horrific for your family. I am sorry for them – they are caught between two egomaniacal regimes – and I fear the outcome will not be good.

  • Anne Ward Sokol

    Standing with you, Caleb.

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Anne, thank you! Blessings to your family!

  • http://peterbkor.wordpress.com/ Peter K

    Pastor Suko, you have written a good an much needed letter, thank you for writing it, but I think you are wrong about Point 8.
    Putin’s power was not given him by God. Putin stole the power he has by rigging elections and persecuting anyone who opposed him. He has no “divine right”; his power derives from trampling on the rights of others.

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Peter I completely understand what you’re getting at here. When I say that God gave Putin the power that he currently has I’m not talking about “divine right” that’s actually something completely different. Divine right claims that the ruler has been given the right by God to do as he pleases, thus no common person has the right to oppose him. The Bible does not teach Divine right.

      However, the Bible does teach that it is God who gives rulers their power and who can take that power from them.

      “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”
      (Dan 2:21)

      This doesn’t mean that Putin or any other leader has the right to rule but rather that they did not really gain that power by their own strength and they have a responsibility before God to use the power he has given them wisely for God can also remove that power from them.

      • http://peterbkor.wordpress.com/ Peter K

        Thank you for explaining!

  • smack41

    Keep the US out of the Ukraine!

    • Murf

      Yea because It’s was the that US propped up Yanuko.
      That stole the Crimea.
      It’s the US’s tanks and artillery that is killing people.
      Ooops my bad that is Russians doing all that.
      Maybe they should get the heck out instead.

      • Thomas Alan

        Wow Murf you scared me for a second…..I thought became one of the bad guys….whew! *wipes forehead*

        • Murf

          My rapier like wit strikes again!(chuckles)
          The hypocrisy of the Putiler lovers always gets me.
          The west has done nothing but try to help them over come the entrenched kleptocracy that was grinding the country into the ground.
          Meanwhile Putin is doing every thing to keep it in place.
          Yet in their little pea brains it’s all the west’s is at fault.
          They can’t even imagine the potential shyt storm that he has unleashed.

          • smack41

            My comment was merely to express the fact that regardless of who started it – the US needs to stay out of “it”! The concern is that this will become yet another front in the US endless wars on multiple “fronts”…we need to stay out – let the Ukraine deal with Putin. We (the US) have no place there!

          • Murf

            This confrontation was inevitable the moment Vlad got a slap on the wrist for invading Georgia.
            Better now supporting a country that has the population and military structure to do so.
            If you think it would have ended with Ukraine you don’t grasp Putin’s vision or intent.

          • smack41

            ? Are you even reading what I am writing? I am not making any comments about Putin – or Russia – or Georgia – or anything other than – the US needs to stay out of this matter. If Putin wants all of Eastern Europe – the US still needs to stay out of this matter. We (the US) are not the police force of the world and we need to stop behaving as if we are.

          • Murf

            So we should go it alone?
            To hel with everybody?
            Pursue our own interests to the exclusion of all else?
            That’s not why 6 of the top 10 nations in the wold are our committed allies.
            In the 50s S Korea was a low grade dump. Now it’s one our biggest trading partners.
            Germany and Japan in 1945, burned out ruins. Now?
            Ukraine needs a lot of work. But unlike so many other countries we have tried to help they WANT our help.
            Some times you just have to see potential.

          • smack41

            “Expanding the U.S. role in Ukraine into military confrontation with
            Russia, could not be more wrong. Its main result will be to escalate the
            conflict into one between two major powers. The Ukrainian people, east,
            west, north and south, will suffer.” Michael Rozeff

          • Murf

            “If not now, when?”
            “If not us ,who?”
            Ronald Reagan
            You may be all for the new isolationism but the oceans won’t protect us.
            The the lesson of 9/11 I learned was the fight always comes to you.
            I am just glad our fathers had the intestinal fortitude to confront the USSR.

          • smack41

            Yes – 9/11 is sacred to the military industrial complex – and has been used to keep the US in a state of perpetual fear and war since 2001 – your comments make me think you perhaps enjoy war and fighting? Keep reading the NY Times…agitprop…

          • Murf

            The MIC is mush more excited by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s claim on the South China Sea. Those are the big ticket situations.
            But if you are confidant that ISIS wouldn’t start cranking out suicide bombers the first chance they get then lets just build a wall and huddle behind it.
            Of course you might want to remember how many attempted terror attacks were foiled at literately the last second.(shoe bomber, underwear bomber)
            Then there is our own home grown wackos (Ft hood, Boston)
            Then there is the fact we can’t keep illegals out,or drugs, or knockoff Coach Purses.
            And of course there is the selling out of long standing friends and allies who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us and shed their blood in battle with us (Britain, Canada, Australia, Poland,S Korea, the Kurds just to name VERY few) If you are Ok with that, then by god that’s what we should do.
            That way all we have to worry about is Kim Kardashians shapely bottom.
            Not helping people who are being crapped on.

          • canuke

            Your logic makes no sense. To allow a vastly superior force, and Putin calls Russia a superpower, to walk over whatever weaker neighbour unobstructed is simply ludicrous. Attempting to appease Hitler before the Second World War in the end produced incomprehensible suffering. Had he been stopped in his tracks in 1938 or early 1939, the world would be a much better place today. The same holds true for Vladimir Putin.

          • smack41

            If we expand our role in Ukraine – we will escalate a conflict the result of which will be two world superpowers fighting for hegemony on foreign soil. The Ukrainian people will be the losers. I seem to recall Jesus saying “Blessed are the peacemakers” – Pastor – would your recommend more US military intervention?

          • evanlarkspur

            People of conscience have a place wherever innocents are being killed. People of honor uphold their commitments to others. The US promised to defend Ukraine in her stead if she gave up her nukes. She did. Now we must.

            Frankly, your comments indicate you are a person neither of honor or conscience. That’s fine for you, but don’t drag the rest of us down to your level.

            BTW, its Ukraine, not “the Ukraine.” “The Ukraine” is used as a humiliating diminutive by Russia to imply that Ukraine is just an area or region, not an independent nation with its own name. I think her citizens dying for their freedom deserve better than to be mocked by you.

          • smack41

            “Expanding the U.S. role in Ukraine into military confrontation with
            Russia, could not be more wrong. Its main result will be to escalate the
            conflict into one between two major powers. The Ukrainian people, east,
            west, north and south, will suffer.” Michael Rozeff

          • evanlarkspur

            Luckily fewer and fewer Americans agree with your assessment.

          • smack41

            No – more and more Americans are tired of perpetual war – hey – why don’t *you* go over there and fight? I think those people who are *for* US military intervention in Ukraine should be placed directly in the front lines. Armchair warrior…and your agitprop crap.

          • evanlarkspur

            With every post your true Putinbot nature emerges, after hiding behind “Christian” ideals to undermine support for “the Ukraine” failed to fool us all. Putinbots are too transparently false and thin-skinned to be moles for long.

          • smack41

            I don’t have any dogs in this fight and that’s how I want to remain.
            You on the other hand are asking for a war between two major
            superpowers. I would think you would have more of an argument. Who benefits from war?

          • Kilo4/11

            What you are saying is that the mere supplying of defensive weapons to the Ukrainian army is a casus belli for Russia to attack the U. S. But, following Russia’s logic in claiming Ukraine as its near abroad, and asserting a right to a “sphere of influence” therein, NATO member Poland has every right to claim Ukraine as its near abroad, too, and to see an attack upon sovereign Ukrainian territory as a major security threat, (which it most certainly is.) NATO then would be simply following its charter, protecting NATO member Poland by arming Ukraine. No grounds for attacking the U. S. there, and so, no one is “asking for a war between two major
            superpowers.”

  • Templar-arg

    Dear pastor, I want to let you know that the people of Ukraine are not alone in this unequal war against RUSSIA. You are a wonderful NATION, with religious values; being them Christian, Jewish or Muslim.
    We stand with UKRAINE against Putin, and pray for you and your people. We’ll not stop until PUTIN gets out of UKRAINE and lets you live free and in peace.
    God Bless you and your People!!!
    Kind regards form Argentina to all the Ukrainian NATION

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Thank you! It’s so encouraging to hear your support!

  • Lana

    So, this pastor is in Odessa Ukraine and he of course can see who fired those weapons. How about Ukrainian president stops sending troops to destroy Eastern Ukraine? How about Ukrainian president restores communications, pensions, and other life sources for residents of Eastern Ukraine? How about you stop blaming Putin for everything that happens in Ukraine? I have quite different information from my relatives who actually live in Eastern Ukraine. So, stop misrepresenting information and start doing something. I like (sarcastic) the way how it’s called democracy when people wanted changes in Kiev and Western part. But, it’s seems to me that there is no democracy for Eastern Ukraine, just because they wanted to exercise their right to choose their ways and it didn’t match what pro-western part of Ukraine wanted. My friends in Kiev are hiding their kids, so they don’t get sent to Ukrainian army to go kill their brothers and sisters in Eastern Ukraine. Wake up people and open your eyes.

    • canuke

      I would agree with you, Lana, but only if the Ukrainian people decide themselves on what is best for them. Not Russian soldiers, tourists, little green men, mercenaries, or whomever else from across the border in the east. Every word Pastor Sukos states is true, and from the heart. I spent many months over the years in Donbas. It was a peaceful and beautiful land before our “Big brother” from the east came to help, so don’t denigrate yourself with such rubbish. Our land was invaded. Our army’s mandate is to protect every square inch of territory from the fools who want to create some mythical “Novorossiya”.

  • smack41

    Pastor Suko – You have been silent about the following: please offer your comments and thoughts about US military involvement in Ukraine. I would appreciate your input – as it appears that there are many Christians who have commented who welcome a military confrontation in Ukraine between the US and Russia.

    • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

      Sorry, I just saw this. Concerning US involvement in Ukraine I don’t really have much to say. I’m not a politician and I don’t really keep up on US news that much. What I do know is that many people are dying in Eastern Ukraine, there are Russian soldiers there and the killing needs to stop. I hope you’ll join me in prayer for the many families who are suffering because of this war!

      • smack41

        Prayer – absolutely! Having had my own parents suffer in Europe during WWII, I understand the devastation of war. Your statement that you don’t have much to say about US involvement strikes me as disingenuous – I am sure you have many opinions you wisely choose to keep to yourself. Perhaps you can encourage your readers to follow Christ in His response to His enemies: to stand up for Truth and yet not sanction any form of violence.

        • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

          Certainly I do encourage my readers to stand for Christ and I encourage those who are ruthlessly killing in Eastern Ukraine to stop the violence!

          • American Patriot

            Putler embraces a satanic muslim version of christianity called orthodox. I’m afraid only by war will we be able to destroy the evil empire he has created.

  • smack41

    Pastor Suko I’m waiting for your response – whose payroll are you really on? You’re brave enough to talk smack to Putin and not brave enough to take a stand on US involvement in Ukraine? hmmm. And “Euromaidan Press” – who bankrolls you folks? agitprop war lovers.

  • American Patriot

    Putler is the anti Christ himself. The People of Ukraine Stand with Israel and the people of the USA Stand with Ukraine. Together, we will fight this satanic communist empire!