On February 3, 2005 President Yuschenko listed his agenda for Ukraine, in which he took a clear and unprecedented stand against corruption. Sunday Adelaja, pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations, Europe's largest church in Kyiv, wrote an encouraging report about recent developments in Ukraine:
For the first time in the history of Ukraine, instead of only holding the official Inauguration with the elite members of parliament behind closed doors, the President also invited the entire country to join him for a second public Inauguration and Oath of Office on Independence Square. Our church took advantage of this moment and several thousands of our members stood among the citizens of Ukraine to congratulate our new President.
Following the Inauguration on Sunday, January 23, the President's work day began on Monday morning, January 24. Because of his Christian faith, he insisted on starting his day with public prayer and blessing, joined together with the heads of Ukrainian Christian denominations, including Baptist, Catholic, Charismatic, etc. This is a totally new thing for our nation. Remember, Ukraine is a former communist society.
The President chose Yulia Timoshenko, a woman, as Prime Minister. She is not simply the most popular politician in parliament, she is a born-again, spirit-filled believer, though this is not a public knowledge. The most interesting event took place when the Prime Minister took her Oath of Office on February 3, 2005 as President Yuschenko listed his agenda for the country. What shocked the whole country were his words, acknowledging what a responsibility his role carries before the people, and committing himself to the honor of carrying his promises out. His words are as follows:
a) My government will NOT STEAL!!! I know it is a fantasy in Ukraine to hear this, but I assure you that this government will not steal anything from the public. I take full responsibility for my government's actions. b) My government will never give or receive bribes! I demand this standard from every member of this government and I say right now, that if anyone is caught giving or taking a bribe, he will suffer the full penalty of the law. I also would like to say that if you catch any member of this government in bribery or theft, it is your responsibility, as citizens, to please report the situation to me, that I might take immediate action. c) To the Parliament, I want you to know that we will never use money to shift lobby votes! That practice has ended, as of today! I demand that the principle of openness, transparency and uprightness filter throughout every department and cabinet. No decision should be taken in secret. Everything must be done openly and in public view.
In Ukraine, what President Yushenko said is basically unheard-of. No leader has ever spoken so clearly or with so much determination to fight bribery and corruption.
When the Prime Minister came to the stand she made one simple point "Our government has come to the conclusion that Ukraine can never rise on her feet until she bows down her knees before the Almighty God."
This takes us back to Monday when the President started his work day. After the prayer and blessing, the President took his wife and children a few steps closer to the altar, and bowed down on their knees, bringing the nation before the Lord. This is an unprecedented act in this part of the world and all the media and priests could do was stand in awe, and shock at what was happening.
The biggest surprise to parliament was when the Prime Minister presented her 6-point program to the people. Everyone expected figures and calculations, but instead received a Biblical concept of national transformation:
a) Faith (in God, nation and individual citizens)
b) Justice (to build an upright society)
c) Harmony (between citizens and leaders)
d) Security (of individual people, national interests and properties)
e) Life (abundant life in every sphere through social programs)
f) World Relations (that Ukraine would integrate itself as a European nation cultivating good relations with other countries including Russia and the European Union)
After Yulia Timoshenko's program was announced, the Ministers were named. We as believers couldn't help but laugh at this point because of who was placed at the head of the SBU (Ukrainian KGB), Alexander Turshinov. This man, a believer, grew up in a Baptist family during the communist regime and the top assignment of the KGB at that time was to destroy religion and faith, Baptist and Evangelicals in particular. Now, the head of this dreaded organization is a man who believes in the very thing they tried to destroy. Yes, God has a sense of humor! The Bible says in Psalm 2:4 "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision".
Other new ministerial appointments interesting to Christians are the positions held by the Minister of Culture: a born-again Catholic lady (in a very good relationship with our church); and the Personal Advisor to the President: Leonid Chernovetskiy (a member of our church). Everyone can testify that the new governmental appointments are highly disciplined, honest and are people of high integrity.
Some of the very first bills passed by the cabinet were to return stolen properties back to the citizens and the country.
In conclusion, we know that the changes taking place here in Ukraine are born from above and they are proving to be both encouraging and highly delightful! May you rejoice with us as we keep believing God for total transformation. Nothing is impossible for the Lord!