Dear brothers, families and churches.
I want to share with you some news about events that took place at Bear Valley Bible Institute in Ukraine in February. We thank God for the peace that He gives us and our families. It is a blessed time for spreading the Gospel and serving the Lord. Of course, it is different from the time after the Soviet Union collapsed, when multitudes of people came to Bible seminars and classes. But we still have an opportunity to proclaim Christ openly and share God’s Word. At the end of March our students will participate in evangelizing campaigns in four local Church of Christ congregations. Please pray with for this work.
In February we had classes in session: the first-year students studied 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles and the first part of the Minor Prophets, and the second-year students studied 1-2 Peter, Jude, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews.
In this month we hosted the meeting for the preachers of the Donetsk region. We discussed a topic of “Worship.” The questions that were raised again were about the day for the worship, the Communion, contribution, etc. Even though this is not a new topic, we want everybody to understand the importance of worshipping the Lord in the right manner.
Right now we are actively working on recruiting new students. We continue visiting churches around Ukraine and do the presentations of the Institute. My latest trip was to Kremenchug, Poltava region – it’s the central part of Ukraine. There are fewer churches of Christ in that part of Ukraine then in Eastern Ukraine. But I had wonderful fellowship with brothers and sisters there, and we might have several students from that congregation in future.
Once in two months, our Institute also publishes a Christian magazine and spreads it all around Ukraine for free. In this way we demonstrated stability and promote the sound doctrine.
Often students ask me about what awaits for them after they graduate. And we know that not every one of them will become a preacher, but they can and will be helping and serving in their local churches. We want all of them to continue serving the Lord, so that because of their work the new churches would be formed and more people would come to Christ. Please pray with us for the future of the Church of Christ in Ukraine.
My experience shows that if God’s church is not growing but decreasing to the size of the preacher’s family, then initially there was done something that did not correspond to God’s plan. After the missionaries left, many preachers developed a wrong understanding of their work and responsibility for the Lord’s church. Even now some of them think that being a preacher is preparing a Sunday sermon and teach a Bible class during the week, and that is all. In our Institute from the very first days we try to dispel that myth and we want our students to understand that a preacher is a social person who keeps meeting new people and seeks opportunity to bring lost souls to Christ. He encourages the church by being an example. We have to be honest with God while doing this work for Him.
We try to spend some time with our students outside the classes and show them how one can make life of the church more various and interesting and, therefore, attract more young people to church. In Ukraine, we celebrate the Day of the Defender of the Motherland on February 23, and our sisters (students) prepared a surprise party for us with interesting games and quizzes.
Thank you for your help and brotherly care for us. We need your support and your prayers. It’s hard to put into words all the input you are making by supporting financially the Institute and the future preachers. Ukrainians should appreciate this help and be active in the work for God. Students and staff of the institute send you their greetings. My family gives special thanks for this support.
Your brother and co-worker in Christ,
To see Dennis’ report with pictures, please click here.