Joy In The Midst Of Political Turmoil In Ukraine...

Hello dear brothers, families and churches.

If you were to ask me what could surprise and sadden me a few months ago, I wouldn’t even think about the events in our country. But let’s start from the very beginning. On February 15, the Lord has given our family a daughter whom we named Dasha. Vera safely delivered the baby, but when they were signing out of the hospital, the doctors found that my daughter has heart problems. Now we have to check her health at the hospital regularly and pray for her recovery. Doctors say that this condition may get better in time; otherwise they will have to do the surgery. Please pray with us for her health. 

Now let’s talk about the politics. There were many changes in our country in February. It seemed that revolution won, and the new government gained authority, the ex-president fled to Russia, and he is there even now. We hoped that it was the most difficult part, and now it’s over, and the country will get ready for the new reform and integration into Europe. But Russia wanted to say the last word, and they did. A week ago Russian troops occupied the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Ukrainian bases there, as if helping Russians who live in that territory. The situation is very tense. Our government together with European and Russian governments can’t find a peaceful solution. Ukraine is in economical, political and moral unrest. We ask you to pray for our future and us. 

The school is doing well. Our teachers and students are very patient and are not panicking because of the events which happen around us. We started thinking more about the spiritual, and it might be God’s providence that we study the book of Daniel together with the first year students. “…And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding…” (Daniel 2:21). We often forget to think about the numerous nature of God’s blessings such as: peace, calm, and joy, and we understand that only when we lose them. 

Our student, Alexey Mitskutis, together with his wife, Alina, had a successful visit to the church of Christ in Ukhta (Northern Russia). We hope that Alexey will move to Russia with his family after his graduation to minister as a preacher there. The congregation received them with much warmth. They have been in need of a preacher for a long time. 

Last month a man from Dnipropetrovsk got into our program. His name is Ivan. He has been seeking an opportunity to study God’s word for a long time. Now we have 12 people studying at the institute at the moment.

In February, I visited several churches in the Donetsk area. I was able to attend the church in Amvrosievka, where they don’t have a preacher currently. Previously, US brethren supported this congregation, but for unknown reasons they stopped supporting the preacher. We try to visit this congregation with our students, and we want one of our graduates to continue working there permanently preaching the word of God. They have their own big building. There are about 12-15 people. If anyone wants to be working with this congregation or help it to grow, please write to me via email. 

The Central Church of Christ in Gorlovka has yet another addition. A young man, Anatoliy Kushnirov, was baptized. After Bible classes with Bogdan and Andrew, he decided to obey the gospel. He has some mental health issues, but he is quite adequate, and we hope that his decision was not based on an emotional high. We are constantly praying for him. 

Thank you for your help and support of our work. All institute staff and students send you their greetings. We know that you pray for us. And we rely on our almighty God completely.

Your brother and co-worker on His field,
Dennis Sopelnik

To see Dennis’ report with pictures of their new baby, please click here.

Posted on March 9, 2014 .