Adventist Health Worker Remains
Missing in Kiev, Ukraine
Jay Sloop, 77, not seen in over 72 hours after early morning walk (Updated May 17, 2013)
BY ANGELA BURDICK
, Euro-Asia Division Communication, with Adventist Review
ore than three days after disappearing in Kiev, Ukraine, a Seventh-day Adventist health worker from Yakima, Washington, remains missing, local church officials said Friday, May 17, 2013. Search efforts continue and are intensifying.
Dr. Jay Sloop, M.D., 77, Health Ministries Director for the church’s Upper Columbia Conference, was in the Ukrainian capital with a team of health professionals for three weeks, helping the local Adventist church set up a lifestyle center. He was last seen on Tuesday, May 15, 2013, at around 7:00 a.m. attempting to access funds in an automated teller machine, and then walking into the Zamkova Gora Park. Security cameras recorded his entrance, but there is no footage showing he left the city park.
When Sloop did not return to the local Adventist headquarters for a breakfast appointment, colleagues Sergey Lutsyi and Yuri Bonderanko alerted the police and contacted all of the Kiev hospitals and morgues to report the details of Dr. Sloop’s disappearance and to request any information.
At 2:00 pm, on May 15, the local police arrived at the Church’s headquarters for a statement, and they prepared a missing person’s report. Three Ukrainian TV networks were informed of the situation, and they prepared news stories that were broadcast at prime time and posted on the following websites:
Jeff Sloop, Dr. Sloop’s grandson, arrived in Kiev and immediately started working with local church leaders who had already begun organizing the search. He has been updating family members via a blog: http://www.sloop.net/wordpress/?p=65
Also, Facebook has been used to spread awareness: https://www.facebook.com/uppercolumbia
Approximately 7,000 posters with Sloop’s picture and a cellphone notification number have been posted across the city. Students from the nearby Ukraine Adventist Center of Higher Education were requested to assist, and around 80 volunteers canvassed Kiev on Thursday, May 16.
Prayer vigils have been organized in Ukraine and at the Euro-Asia Division headquarters in Moscow, as well as at Sloop’s home church in Yakima.
Guillermo Biaggi, Euro-Asia division president, shared his concern, "We are praying for the Lord's guidance and mercy. We are joining our efforts together with local Union leadership, as well as our human resources in the Kiev Conference and nearby school, together with government officials and responders, to search and find Dr. Sloop.”
Vladimir Krupskyi, Division Executive Secretary and former Ukrainian Union President, flew from Moscow to Kiev on May 17 to assist in the search.
Friday’s activities included the continuing search by volunteers as well as more meetings with local and regional officials who committed to provide additional resources, such as trained search and rescue dogs. In addition, the U.S. Embassy is working to support the search efforts. Local church members and volunteers are planning to continue their efforts over the weekend.
Church officials appeal to members and friends around the world to join those who continue to pray for Dr. Sloop’s safe recovery.
Sloop began directing Upper Columbia's Health Ministries department after he retired from his medical career in Yakima, Washington. From 1969 to 2005 he served the Yakima community in private practice, along with inpatient care and teaching at Total Health Lifestyle Center, an inpatient lifestyle change facility.