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Chaplaincy Training in the Midst of War

At the CPCA, we value the opportunity to provide quality training to police chaplains across Canada. This is evident through our efforts to establish on-line courses, post relevant articles, host webinars with qualified instructors, share resources, and gather annually for our ATS. We are able to move forward to establish and promote training within a stabile country. Would we be this dedicated if we were in the midst of a war where the basic essentials to sustain life were threatened?

In the midst of a nine-month war, in a country devastated by missile attacks and the lack of provisions, the Ukrainian Academy of Chaplains for Law Enforcement Agencies has commenced its fourth annual 9-month course since its inception in 2019. Over 100 men and women have enrolled for this course for the purpose of becoming trained police chaplains in order to effectively serve police officers and their families throughout Ukraine. Personally, I am amazed by this level of commitment and dedication by these men and women who are dedicating their time to study and write exams in the midst of the battle to survive and keep their families safe and secure in a war-torn country. This is a demonstration of the utmost respect and love for police officers by civilians in Ukraine. These sentiments have arisen in stark contrast to what I heard in 2019 when I spoke with community leaders in Ukraine and heard their distrust towards authority due to past systemic corruption. This transformation amongst religious leaders/community/police proves that communication through personal exchanges between visionaries, police officers and the community can break down walls and dismiss fears that existed for decades. Training is focused communication with a purpose and visionaries such as Yaroslav Malko and Pavlo Tsarevsky should be commended for their incredible efforts to not only establishing police chaplaincy in Ukraine but in advancing the Academy despite the constant threat of death due to war.

For the fourth year, I had the privilege of presenting for a couple of hours at the Academy through Zoom. The screens were full of men and women willing to listen and learn, and it blessed me beyond measure to see their faces, feel their enthusiasm, and answer some questions pertaining to the challenges unique to the dynamics of the law enforcement family. I left the presentation inspired by the level of commitment of these men and women of God to serve police officers and their families in Ukraine. I couldn't help but ponder, would I still be as zealous for chaplaincy training if my family and I were fighting to survive in the midst of a war?

All God's best to these men and women through their months of training at the Academy, and for years to come as they fulfill God's call on their life: "You were born for such a time as this" Esther 4:14.

Bruce Ewanyshyn

CPCA President

ICPC Director Region 1

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