Hello dear brothers, churches and families.
As you know, Ukraine is the only country in Europe, where God’s church is most influential. We eagerly accepted the sound doctrine, and churches in Ukraine were established and started spreading. There are church of Christ congregations in almost all towns and cities of Donetsk region. I think that we achieved these results with the help of 1. American missionaries, 2. Christian men and women from local congregations, 3. Graduates of the Bible Institute. The history of the church in Ukraine is not so long, about 20 years. Over this period of time, we’ve had experienced a sweet taste of victory and bitter taste of defeat. Some churches fell apart, but others grew stronger and continue preaching even now. I think that the most common reason why the church in Ukraine experienced defeat is because of unprepared leaders and preachers. While planting churches, missionaries would leave them soon and give the ministry to untrained newly converted leaders, who in their turn didn’t know how to act in the house of the Lord (1Tim.3:14-15). The situation is more stable now. Ukraine is writing its own history of the church. There was a time when we were in dire need of help from brethren; now we have our own teachers, and some local churches have their own buildings to gather for worship, and that fact encourages us greatly. This is our country, and we should be proud that God’s church exists and functions here.
Several years ago, the Bible institute was recruiting about 3-4 students a year, and those who came didn’t see themselves preaching in future. And now we have 16 students who are eager to serve the Lord. We have 7 students who will graduate this year. Some of them are already preaching the sound doctrine in the churches. Others help local congregations.
*Dmitriy Kuropyantikov – is actively starting his ministry in Proletarskaya church of Christ (Donetsk).
*Maksim Gaykov – preaches at Mayskaya church of Christ (Gorlovka).
*Bogdan Chigvintsev – wants to minister as a youth leader at the Central church of Christ (Gorlovka).
*Victor Nakalyuzhniy – preaches at the Central church of Christ (Donetsk).
*Eugene Tebel – might help the work of the institute in future.
*Polina Berdu – teaches Bible classes for kids at church of Christ (Konstantinovka).
*Julia Kudelina – teaches Bible classes for kids at Central church of Christ (Gorlovka).
As you can see, we try not only to teach our student but also to give them an opportunity to use their knowledge in practice. And what is more important, the church in Ukraine has learned from its mistakes and is need of trained ministers. First-year students are already helping the churches that are in need of their ministry (Vladimir Didukh – in Ivano-Frankovsk, Sergey Slastyonov and Roman Rotan – in
Illovaysk). Most likely that in the next year they will be permanent preachers in these congregations.
In April, I have visited and preached in many church of Christ congregations (Dnepropetrovsk, Nikolayev, Donetsk, Kiev). The Bible institute has a good reputation among Ukrainian brethren, and they express their gratitude for our work on every occasion. There was a 4-day conference in Kiev “After God’s heart”. I was one of the main speakers at this conference. On my opinion, this was one of the major events on the territory of Ukraine in this year (about 150 members-leaders from 40 CoC congregations). I was allowed to speak about the institute, and I saw that many people are respectful of this ministry.
Every time we gather for worship, we remember and pray for our sponsors. If it were not for the generous congregations, families and individuals, we wouldn’t be able to train preachers and ministers for the church of Christ in Ukraine. This is our joint achievement and victory. This year our institute is facing financial difficulties. I know that financial crisis has stricken many, and that Satan doesn’t want God’s Kingdom to grow stronger and spread. Just as we’ve started seeing successful results, he is trying to close the doors in front of us. I believe, that you won’t give up, just as we don’t give up in our ministry to the Lord. We have started looking for support from the local congregations, but they are not able to meet all of the needs. If you know anyone who would be ready to help us in this ministry or you want to contribute to it, we will be so grateful. For more detailed information please contact Howell Ferguson (email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
On May 18, we plan to have the conference for young people “Personal relationships with God”, and on May 25, we’ll celebrate graduation of class 2013.
Thank you for your support and prayers, we are grateful to those who don’t lose hearts and keep helping us. If you have any questions or comments, I’m always ready to talk to you.
Director of the Bible institute