Political And Economical Crisis, But School Continues...

Hello dear brothers, families and churches.

As you know, Ukraine is going through major political and economical crisis. Our country is basically in a state of war. In the Donetsk region terrorists took all administrative buildings, police offices and put their block-posts on all roads, preventing normal traffic. We are getting used to hearing sounds of shooting and seeing our government being inactive. Many citizens are stressed and in panic. Our students and church members are also worried about this. We keep praying, and it’s our only weapon against aggression. Only God knows when it will be over. 

In April, we had classes according to the schedule. Vitaliy Rodichev travelled from Kramatorsk and taught Prison Epistles. Viktor Semikoz continues teaching Luke. Andrew Zhuravlyov taught Jeremiah and Lamentations. I taught Ezekiel. Garth Hilton taught Job and Modern Religious Thought via the Polycom system. Each one of our brothers is active and fearless in ministry and helpful in training ministers. A preacher from Mayskaya Church of Christ, Sergey, joined our program; he’s auditing some courses. Together with the students we try to get away from these events, spending time together outside the classroom, having shashlik (barbecue), playing volleyball and praying together for our future.

Lately we’ve started thinking about selling the institute building and moving to a safer region of Ukraine. We really want to know God’s will for this important decision. It’s very dangerous being in Donetsk area, even more so studying. Sadly, we have only one potential student for the next school year (from Kramatorsk, Donetsk region). It’s because people are afraid to move to this area, and it’s understandable. There are lots of guns “wandering around” in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and it’s very unlikely that the situation will stabilize any time soon. Please pray with us for the future of the church and the Bible institute.  

Thing are the same in the Central Church of Christ in Gorlovka. Elderly Christians are worried because of the current events. We try to support and encourage them in personal conversations. We keep evangelizing and inviting people to come to God. 

In the past month, I’ve seldom traveled outside of Gorlovka, since the barricades made by separatists surround the city. Nevertheless, I was able to visit Mayskaya Church of Christ in Gorlovka and the church in Dzerzhinsk.   

In May we plan to have a youth seminar (unless there is military intervention) on the topic “Safety in Christ.” Also, there will be a graduation ceremony on May 24, a milestone for the second-year students. This year we have 7 graduates: 5 men and 2 ladies.

We still have Bible classes for kids at “The Gifted Child” Bible School, but there are considerably fewer kids coming. Parents are afraid for their children’s safety and try to escort them to school and meet them after classes. 

Thank you for your prayers and support; we definitely need them.  We are grateful for your willingness to be useful to us. Students and staff of the institute send you their greetings. God bless you. 

You brother and coworker,

Dennis Sopelnik

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

Posted on May 11, 2014 .