Hello dear brothers, families and churches.
In this letter I want to share with you some news about the events that took place at BVBIU in Gorlovka. There are many memorable and interesting events, and some of them are already a part of our history, and yet there are some that will take place in the future. In 15 years of our Institute's existence, we faced various difficulties, and each time God was our hope and protection. For 8 years, we didn't have our own building, and now we have it; we didn't have enough students, and this year we've had 7 graduates. From time to time we experience a lack of financial support, but each time there are churches that are willing to help us in this work. God is great, and He still hears our prayers.
On Monday, May 27, we had a graduation ceremony for the second-year students. This year we've had the highest number of graduates for the last five years. Seven prepared ministers were taught and trained for two years to preach and serve at the Lord’s church. All of them have been serving at the church, and we hope that they will keep bringing fruits for the kingdom of God. Ukraine, as many other countries, is in need of ministers, and we try to meet this need. Congregations where they will minister have finally receive their full-time preachers. We hope that fellowship and friendships formed while being at school will continue among the graduates, and they can always count on our support to protect the gospel. Coordinator of our extension school and his wife, Howell and Mary Ferguson, made it right on time for the graduation. They brought diplomas with the signatures of the Institute’s leaders and valuable presents in the form of signed shirts.
In the middle of May, we had planned a long awaited youth conference on the topic “Personal Relationships with God.” We invited young people from the local congregations. There were about 60 Christians and guests attending our youth conference. Jim Sherman and Steve Housley were the main speakers. These brothers are active participants in the work of our Institute. By the way, they both taught the last courses in this school year. Jim Sherman taught courses on James and The Preacher and His Work, and Steve Housley taught the courses on John and John’s Epistles. We are grateful for their work and ministry in Ukraine.
Right now it’s vacation time at the Institute. The classes will resume at the beginning of September. The students have their obligations before the Institute and the local congregations where they minister. It’s time for them to start making practical application of their skills and knowledge. Each student is obliged to prepare and teach at least 5 Bible classes and participate at the Sunday worship service. During the summer time I will be looking for the new students for this Institute. As of right now, we don’t have any applications, so I ask you to pray for the recruitment of the students for the new school year.
In June we plan to have the school of the young preacher. Last year we had 8 young men (ages 13-17). During several days we will show these young men how important it is to be a minister in the church. Also in the middle of June we will have two-week courses in the Masters’ program at our Institute.
I want to thank all the churches that participate in the work of this Institute; we are really in need of your help. You make a huge input in spreading the sound doctrine in Ukraine. Trained ministers are already serving in local congregations and teaching the truth.
If you have any questions or comments, I'm always ready to get in touch with you.
Your brother and co-worker for the Lord's cause,
To see Dennis’ report with pictures from graduation, please click here.