Dear brothers, families and churches.
Time flies by quickly. A new school year will start soon. Right now it’s a period of summer camps and vacations in Ukraine. Many churches try to combine pleasant and useful activities and have VBS for kids. Young people are our future. American brethren help us a lot in this process, and we are grateful for their help. In Dzerzhisk, Kharkov, Svyatogorsk and other cities, a wonderful work with children was done; many of them saw the Bible for the first time and heard their first lessons about Jesus Christ. Our students worked in these camps and were actively working in the local congregations. For almost 3 weeks, Oksana Heohdzhayeva (BVBIU secretary), Vlad Borisenko and others were working at the Christian camp in Dzerzhisk. We believe that the seed that was sown and the following work with those children will bring forth good results.
In August, we plan to have similar camp at the Central Church of Christ in Gorlovka (in the building of the BVBIU). It will be an interesting event for both the kids and their parents. For the purposes of work with the children we have already started Christian school for kids “The Gifted Child,” and many of the kids who came from the streets got attached to us and learned about the Lord. We ask you to pray for this work. In Ukraine there are no generational Christians; many of us belong to the first generation of Christians; therefore, every new child or adult who comes to the church is perceived as a huge blessing. We are fighting for every soul. My wife and I plan to work at the VBS in Kharkov. We hope that are help will be needed and useful.
At the moment, we are actively looking for the new students. Right now there are 6 people ready to start the program, and there are 9 second-year students. As you can see, the program is not big, but we try to admit only those people who are really willing to be a minister for the Lord. The church in Ukraine is going through a difficult period, but if we want to grow and continue serving the Lord, we need to strengthen our basis, keep what we have and try to preach the gospel actively. We are training evangelists at the Institute, so that they would help the churches where they minister.
In June I visited churches of Christ in Mariupol and Kramatorsk. Telling about the Institute and our program of training ministers, I see how Christians get encouraged and become more willing to participate in this work.
In September, one of our graduates, Eugene Tebel, with his family will start working with young people at the Kramatorsk church of Christ. That’s yet another sign that Ukraine is need of the sound ministers of the word. It’s a wonderful family, and I think that many souls will come to the Lord because of them.
One of the problems that we face in Ukraine is that we stopped spreading the church. For 5 years we haven’t planted new churches and are only trying to support those that exist. After the fall of the Soviet Union, thousands of people came to hear the gospel, and they wanted to read the Bible, but with every year Ukraine is becoming more European. Many people have the spiritual values shift to have lesser priority. Now it’s more difficult to spread the gospel; materialistic mindset makes Ukrainian nation hardhearted to Christ. Expensive cars and apartments lead people away from God. I think that in every corner of our world God’s servants face similar problems, but we continue believing in our Almighty God.
Our family and the students of BVBIU send you their greetings and the gratitude for your kind and open hearts. Your help is visible here. God’s work keeps being done.
Your brother and co-worker for the Lord’s cause,
To see Dennis’ report with pictures, please click here.