Dear brothers, families and churches.
In my letter, I want to share with you some news about the events in BVBIU in August and the beginning of September.
Last month went by under the credo: "We are looking for students; classes are starting soon." I had to make phone calls to different congregations, prospective students and their families. Some cancelled previous arrangements, even though previously they were more than sure that they will study. Others were excited about my phone calls and were looking forward to September 1, which is the beginning of the new school year. In the end, we had 8 first-year students and 7 second-year students. In January, another student from Kramatorsk will join our program.
Thus, we have a total of 15 students. God has blessed us abundantly indeed: out of 15 students, there are 12 men and 3 ladies. The majority of them are young people, whose average age is about 25 years. I hope they made a level-headed choice and will work for God's church in future. Two young men are from western Ukraine, one is from central Ukraine, and others are from Donetsk region. I ask you to pray earnestly for them and their ministry for God in Ukraine.
September 1 was an Orientation Day; students and teachers arrived, and we praised the Lord together, got acquainted, and students moved into their apartments. Classes at the Institute began on Monday, September 3. Right now Albert Bagdasaryan teaches a class on "How we got the Bible" to the first-year students, and Victor Semikoz teaches a class on "Ezra, Nehemaiah, Esther" to the second-year students.
We have another achievement with which you can congratulate both us and yourselves. BVBIU is 15 years old now. It's hard to tell whether it's much or little, but we are eager to continue this work and do our best at it. In 1997 a branch of Bear Valley Bible Institute was founded in Kramatorsk, and the first dean was Buck Hall. Later Terry Harmon succeeded him, and in 2007 the Institute moved to Gorlovka, where we were able to get a wonderful building. Starting with 2010, I served as a dean there.
I thank God and you for the trust you put in me and for your support of our work. I hope there will be times when we would be able to support Christianity where it is necessary. During the years of it's function, the Institute trained about 80 preachers, and some of them are still serving in the Lord's church. Because of these efforts we are still standing in the truth and spreading God's kingdom.
In August, I was able to visit and preach at several congregations: Illovaysk, Kramatorsk and Svyatogorsk. Some churches are going through difficult times, and others are prospering. More than likely it is inevitable in the process of growth and development of the church.
Also in the last month, my family and I participated in VBS, that was held by the Central church of Christ in Gorlovka. There were about 20 kids, and during 4 days we were studying the Bible with them, played, etc. This church has a plan to continue studies with these kids in future.
There is also some news that made me sad. Two second-year students (Nastya and Yura) decided to leave the program. They plan to get married and decided to get a job to secure their future in financial matters.
In the end, I want to thank you again for your work and willingness to help God's work. God bless you.
Your brother and coworker,
To see Dennis’ report with pictures, please click here.