Video interview recorded at Ocela on August 8, 2009

Peter had the privilege of interviewing Rev. Dr. Josaphat Iwaskiw, for nearly three hours at OCELA, during the afternoon of Saturday August 8th, 2009.  This interview as well as all the others that were recorded by Peter, were done between Friday August 7th - Sunday August 9th, in the former DOROHA PRAWDY building which once was filled with Ukrainian books.

The building was built by DOROHA PRAWDY in the 1980's and is located next to the Youth building and directly across from the Church/Main Building.  It was maintained by Mr. Theodore Lucyk, who was the administrator of DOROHA PRAWDY for many years, since 1965, until his death in 2003. Much of the inventory of Doroha Prawdy's publications, which was several thousand books, was stored at the Toronto Ukrainian Ev. Baptist Church, until it was moved up to the Doroha Prawdy building at Ocela.

After Mr. Lucyk's death, the building was sold to Ocela, and the books were packaged and shipped to Ukraine, so that they could be put to better use in the Seminary and churches there.

During this interview, as part of his research for documenting what was happening to all of the libraries of our Ukrainian Baptist pastors in Canada and the USA, he was surprised to find out that Dr. Iwaskiw just a couple of months earlier, shipped his entire personal library to a church in Ukraine.  This was done with the much needed help of his wife, as during the past couple of years, Dr. Iwaskiw suffered a series of heart attacks and his health deteriorated.

Several times throughout this three-hour interview, his loving and caring wife Rose, came in to see how he was doing.  I too was also concerned how long the interview would last, but to my astonishment, I witnessed the words of Isaiah 40:28-31 come to life. 

"Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

In Dr. Iwaskiw's biography section on this website [see UKRAINIAN BAPTIST MINISTERS & WIVES], I noted the following.  I asked Dr. Iwaskiw to recite one of his most favorite poems, and which one did he choose?   The one he wrote on the life of Moses, and it was his longest poem, written March 16-21, 1958 in Oshawa, Ontario.  In his book of poems, MY NATIVE FIELD, published in 1998 by DOROHA PRAWDY,(second edition) which I followed along in, it went on for twelve pages [pages 126-137].

Peter was so caught up in listening to Dr. Iwaskiw recite this poem by memory, written fifty-one years earlier, that he didn't realize that his video camera had stopped recording at the two-hour mark during their interview, and so he asked Dr. Iwaskiw to recite it again, which he graciously did.  This poem was one of the highlights of this interview, for it was a story in itself, on the life of Moses.

How special it must be to have a father as a poet, who dedicated and wrote a poem on his daughter's life, Roxanne, when she was just a couple of years old. [pages 25-28].

Rev. Dr. Iwaskiw, his wife Rose, and Peter after the interview in the Ocela church building on Saturday August 8th, 2009.  Dr. Iwaskiw founded [1957] and pastored the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Oshawa, Ontario, and for 30+ years, pastored the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Hamilton.  He was also the President of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Association of Eastern Canada for many years as well, in addition to holding several positions on the All-Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Fellowship, the Ukrainian Baptist Convention of Canada, and for many years, associate editor of the Christian Herald, and the Messenger of Truth.  

© Ukrainian Baptist Heritage Centre
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