Despite The Grave Challenges, BVBIU Continues To Make A Difference...

Hello dear brothers, families and churches.

The situation in Ukraine is still tense and difficult. The military actions continue to take place. On November 2, DNR and LNR had their elections, and Russia acknowledged this new government on these territories. Now DNR (as their leaders proclaim) is a separate country, which will have its own financial, taxing, military and administrative systems. Gorlovka is on the other side of the front, and more than likely, we won’t be able to return to our town any time soon. The process might take several years. Even now many people are moving out of that territory, leaving their homes, jobs, and businesses. There are several humanitarian aid missions that try to help refugees and those who stayed on the territory occupied by the insurgents. I urge you to pray with us for the peace in Ukraine.

The situation is becoming more stable in other parts of Ukraine. People are longing for peace; they want political and economical reforms. We believe in the better future of our country and are willing to help it in any way we can. 

Church of Christ
For two months and a half, we have been having services. The church consists mostly of students, local Christians and several families who moved from eastern Ukraine. Church services are held in Russian, though many of us are trying to speak Ukrainian. It’s difficult for us to change languages, though many of us heard and understood both of them since childhood. Also we have midweek Bible classes, Bible classes for kids and youth group meetings. Step by step, people in the neighborhood get to know about the church; they know that the church of Christ and the Bible Institute now rent the place, which used to be a store. Last week BV students had practice in evangelizing. Most of the students stayed in Ternopil, and some went to Dnepropetrovsk. Those who stayed in Ternopil were divided into four groups: some stood with the Christian literature display and others went around the city, giving invitations to the church services and making new contacts. How wonderful it was to see two guests at the Sunday service. Also we have two more kids in our Bible School for kids. We will try to do everything to let more people hear the gospel and come to God. 

Bear Valley Bible Institute
The school is doing quite well. These people taught classes in October: Jim Sherman, Dennis Curd, Terry Harmon, Victor Semikoz, Vitaliy Rodichev, and I. Terry Harmon and Vitaliy Rodichev taught classes via Skype. Of course, it’s impossible to find a good substitute for live communication, but it is a better way of having classes at school for now. We thank our American brothers for helping us buy some very needed things for the school: chairs, heaters, microwave, and a computer. Of course, it’s very difficult to get all at once, but God blesses us to have what is necessary. Many Ukrainian teachers express their wish for us to move closer to them. We think about that option, and the most suitable city for such move would be Dnepropetrovsk. It’s a big city with good infrastructure, airport, and what is more important it’s a safe distance from military actions, yet close to where most of our teachers live. Also there is a nice building there; it’s where our graduate, Alexander (Sasha) Rodichev preaches.  

We have also managed to fix the video connection with Dan Owen via Polycom system. We couldn’t find a repairperson for a long time, but because of the documents with instructions about Polycom setup in Russian language – we were able to fix it.

There is another young man from Dnepropetrovsk who wants to join our program in November; his name is Klim. God blesses us with students who are willing to dedicate their lives to preaching the gospel.  

Students express their gratitude to our American brothers for their financial help and to the church of Christ in Ivano-Frankivsk for the humanitarian aid in the form of blankets and clothes.   

We are grateful for your prayers and support in our ministry. Spreading the sound doctrine is the most important task given to the disciples of Jesus Christ. God bless you.

Your brother and co-worker,
Dennis Sopelnik

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

Posted on November 9, 2014 .