Challenges Facing The Work In Ukraine...

Dear brothers, families and churches.

It’s obvious that every one of us wants to live in a fair, just and God-fearing society. Right now in Ukraine it’s a period when millions of people with trembling and anxiety are going through the events that took place in Kiev (the capital of Ukraine). Our government decided not to enter into the union with Europe, and hundreds of thousands people all over the country went out protesting and expressing their discontent. The protesters require resignation of the government and specific actions while moving in the European direction. I urge you to pray for the future of Ukraine and for the future of God’s church here.

At the beginning of November, there were Master’s classes at the BVBIU, and most likely these students will graduate next year and finish their three-year marathon. We expect to have three graduates from this program, and some of them will be able to help us teach at this Institute. In the Bachelor’s program, first-year students studied such courses: Godhead, Angels and Satan (instructor Vitaliy Rodichev), and Genesis (instructor Victor Semikoz). The second year-students studied Acts (instructor Vladimir Paziy), and 1-2 Thessalonians (instructor Dennis Sopelnik). I’m grateful for the brethren who participate actively in training the future ministers. We had Ukrainian teachers in this semester. A few years ago we could only dream of such possibility, but now it’s a reality. Now we have to work on becoming financially independent, but it’s a difficult thing to do at the moment. Talking about the churches in Ukraine and their development, I will try to show their situation using the example of the church in Gorlovka (which uses the BVBIU building for worship services). This church is now going through a period that is not so good in its history; there are about 22-25 people attending the services regularly. The growth of the church is barely noticeable, even though the church has many programs functioning. The main part of the church members consists of elderly people, whose pensions are so small that they hardly have enough to pay rent for their apartments, not mentioning food or medical expenses. Therefore, the contributions in the church are very small accordingly. We always talk about inviting more young and middle-age people, but it’s very difficult to accomplish on practice. God’s gospel is not changed; it’s still potent and powerful, and probably we need more time, patience and continuous prayers.  

Last month I visited congregations in Kramatorsk and Dzerzhinsk. The latter is situated in about a 30-minute drive. The church there is very friendly and hospitable. We have a student, Sergey, from this town, and he prepared a good sermon, and I hope that he’ll minister in that church in the future. 

My wife and I continue working in the orphanage. During the time of our ministry there, kids have already got used to us and met with many missionaries from the US. Of course we can’t give them all they need, but the most important thing that we share with them is the Good News about Jesus Christ.  

One of the interesting events of the last month was a conference for ladies in Konstantinovka. Ladies who graduated from BVBIU actively participated in it; they spent a lot of time preparing for it, and everyone was greatly encouraged. 

We thank every one who supports BVBIU. We appreciate your input in spreading the gospel here. Your prayers and financial support help us to train sound preachers. Taking a student into the program, you basically take care of all financial expenses (including housing, food and clothing). Many of them send you their greetings and gratitude. 

Your brother and co-worker,
Dennis Sopelnik

To see Dennis’ report with pictures, please click here.

Posted on December 8, 2013 .