Thirteen years ago, after I graduated from the university, I followed my family tradition and became a miner, continuing my father’s work. By that time my father already had 28 years of underground mining experience. He had seen nothing except cages, coal, dozens of miles of mined trenches, and drinking. The most he could do for me was take me to the mine director’s office, asking for a favor: “Give my son a job.”
I recollect my preparatory practice back in university years. We students were told that, taking all production conditions into consideration, 1 human death per year was the norm per 1,000 underground miners. Indeed, every year we witnessed at least 6 deaths in our mine. However, it was someone else’s lost life and someone else’s sorrow, until I received a wake-up call from the mine manager at 4 am.
I worked as a mine geologist; I was summoned because of a death in the mine. Usually, all lead engineering staff were summoned in such cases. It was a common situation and a common death. But this time I found out that I shared the same surname as the man who died, Nikolay Kosyak. This case was no longer common for me and my family; it was a special challenge. I was summoned to investigate my own father’s death. Now the statistics concerned me; the usual statistics became a tragic event.
Let us talk about statistics. During war time, it is normal to have 3% civilian deaths. And 97% of us keep on treating it as somebody else’s trouble, just like I used to do. Thank God, not everyone thinks this way.
We are trying to share the other person’s pain. Some children with disabilities from the ‘Vozlyuby’ and Dima Hryschcuk foundations, evacuated from Shakhtarsk, have been supplied with warm blankets. The pain of these children became our pain. Funds were credited for the needs of those working in the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation]; soldiers received warm clothes and medications, saving their lives. The pain of people in trouble became a pain for those who sacrificed. Unfortunately, recently we were too late: yesterday we [finally] found medications to help a 37-year-old person, but he died before the assistance arrived.
Please, continue to pray for a church pastor and his 14-year-old son from Luhansk. They were arrested by the LNR “Fighters for the Bright Future” adherents [so-called Luhansk People’s Republic]. These “noble” people don’t hesitate to arrest a 14-year old child for “saying something wrong” at school, and the other schoolchildren were cross-examined after that. Stalin’s and Goebbels’ propaganda, sadism, and fascism seem to be embedded in the minds of people identifying with “Novorossia.” If you give place to Satan, even an intellectual nerd can become a Sado-fascist and brother-killer.
To finish my story with a joyful note: these [last two] photographs are from a nursing home, where evacuated children with disabilities now live. All the beautiful decorations were made by hand by the nursing home workers.
Do good; it is possible!
Author Pastor Sergey Kosyak had been persecuted for erecting Prayer Tents for prayer for Ukraine, and was abducted and beaten in May of 2014. Despite this, he stayed in his neighborhood and continued to share the pain of his community. He is known for helping the marginalized poor, reaching out to orphans and the elderly, and showing love even to the enemies who hurt him. The article above is translated from his posted “Prayer Marathon, Day #226.” He habitually concludes his posts with inspiration from Galatians 6:9: As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.
Featured photo: Sergey Kosyak and his son leading prayer at a prayer marathon in Donetsk. Photo gallery below.
In Autumn of 2014, Kosyak and his family were forced to leave terrorist-controlled Donetsk because he is on the pro-Russian “wanted” list, for church work that is not part of the Russian Orthodox Church. He left just as he was: T-shirt and pants, nothing else… no photo albums… This is why we don’t have a photo of his father to accompany his story.
Sergey Kosyak is still in Ukraine, working among the displaced peoples. You can follow his life and public ministry posts on his Facebook page.
Support: You can support Pastor Sergey Kosyak’s efforts to help refugees through Mission Eurasia’s (formerly Russian Ministries) “I Care Refugee Assistance Program”
Video in English by Mission Eurasia, which sends support to Kosyak’s local churches/ministries