Stronger Families, Leaders And Future Students...

Hello dear brothers, families and churches.

In my letter, I want to share with you some news about events at the Institute and in the churches of Christ in Ukraine. Ukraine is a big country in Central Europe, and its population now consists of 45 million people. God’s church in Ukraine became active after the fall of the Soviet Union, and for more than 20 years we continued preaching the sound doctrine. 

We have to work more and be more diligent to build strong churches. Even now we have very few strong families in local churches; the majority of believers are elderly people. Churches are in great need of encouragement, sound teaching and continuous evangelizing efforts. Recently we had a camp for families in Svyatogorsk that was organized by American brothers (their leader is Jeff Abrams) and the Church of Christ in Kramatorsk. My family and I were happy to participate in this camp. There were many families from different parts of Donetsk region. For 4 days, we were praising the Lord and listening to classes on making strong families and churches. During this camp 4 people were baptized and many people were encouraged by this event. I think that finding time for spiritual fellowship is an important part of the work in God’s church. 

In this year, we organized a three-day camp for future preachers in order to help local congregations. We invited young men (ages 13-18) from all over Ukraine. It was a wonderful time of studying the Bible, acquiring leadership skills and practical exercises. There were 9 young men participating in our camp. Every one of them had to prepare a short Bible lesson and present it in front of the church. It was a second camp that we have on the basis of our Bible Institute, and we want continue this tradition. In such a way, young people get to know about the Institute and the possibility of getting a quality Bible education. The church in Ukraine is in need of strong leaders.  

Our Institute also had a Masters’ classes in the middle of June, and we had a teacher from the US, Denton Landon. He also teaches in the Bachelors’ program. We are grateful for his ministry and help to our Institute and the church in Ukraine. 

In this month, I also visited a church of Christ in Ivano-Frankovsk, Western Ukraine. Pavel Tuznichenko and Vladimir Didukh, who are second-year students in our Institute, minister there. There are very few churches of Christ in the Western part of our country. It is very important to train new ministers so we could plant new churches in different towns and cities in the future. I believe that God will open these doors for us when we start working on that.

In July I plan to visit churches in Mariupol and Lugansk and maybe in some other towns with my family. I keep looking for new students, but we don’t have any applications for this school year yet. There are a few people who were interested in studying, but they haven’t submitted their applications. Please pray with us for the recruitment of new students. 

In this letter I want to thank everyone who supports us spiritually and physically both the Institute and me. We continue praying for you and your zeal in ministering to us. Many of you are an example for us in persistence and care for others. 

With love in Christ your brother and coworker,
Dennis Sopelnik

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

Posted on July 7, 2013 .