Precious Sound And Need For Peace In Ukraine...

Hello dear brothers, families and churches. 

May our Lord Jesus Christ grant you peace. This word “peace” has become very precious for us. There are still sounds of shooting in Eastern Ukraine, though it is obvious that they use heavy artillery not so often now. Nevertheless, this area is still dangerous to live in. For the last 3 months, there were more than 60 children killed in that area. We urge you to pray for Ukraine and for the future of God’s church. 

Bear Valley Bible Institute in Ukraine 
In March, we had brothers in Christ from the US, Johnny Mack Young and Garth Hilton. They had been teaching at the Institute for two weeks. It was a wonderful time to visit with old friends and good teachers. These brothers visit Ukraine every year and share their experience with our students. 

Also, we had a planned evangelism campaign; students and their families participated in it. We were divided into several groups. One group of students went to spread the gospel to Dnipropetrovsk, the second group went to Chernivtsi, and the third group stayed in Ternopil. We used different methods to reach the hearts of people. In the city of Chernivtsi, our students and BVBIU secretary, Oksana, stood by the table and spread Christian literature, inviting people to come to the church. There was one baptism during the campaign there. In Ternopil, we had been inviting people to evening Bible classes, spreading Christian literature and posting announcements for 3 days. Unfortunately, there were no new visitors during the time of the campaign. I think though that any work for God won’t be fruitless. It might be that we were sowing God’s seeds in some people’s hearts. 

This week is the Spring Break, when students have to finish their written assignments, and starting April 6, classes will resume. 

We continue looking for a better place for the Institute. It’s not easy. Due to the military actions in Gorlovka, terrorists took our building there, and we had to move to the territory of Western Ukraine, though many of our teachers stayed in Eastern Ukraine. This school year we had many classes taught via Skype. We are looking for such a place that would be a good and convenient location for both teachers and students, being close to the main roads and an airport. That’s why I visited Bila Tserkva at the end of March and discussed the possibility of cooperation with the local congregation, considering moving to their facility. I ask you to pray for the future of the Institute. 

Institute Church of Christ 
For the last three weeks we have been blessed with visits of guests not only from the US, but also from different parts of our country. We had services when attendance would be 28 people. Maybe some would consider this number insignificant, but believe me, for a war-torn Ukraine, suffering through economical and political crisis, this number sounds very inspiring. 

Now we are working in different spheres trying to attract more people to God and to His church. My wife and other ladies from the church organized a workshop for kids and their parents at the beginning of March. Such classes are quite successful, and we had 12 new visitors at our building. Johnny Mack Young gave a brief introduction, telling about the church and its purpose. We have also continued the program of teaching English via Bible. Right now mostly, our students attend these classes, but we hope that soon we’ll have new people. 

We continue meeting during the week at Christian homes and encouraging one another. In April, we plan to have a one-day youth conference and invite Christians from local congregations. 

Thank you for supporting the Institute and my family. If you have any questions or suggestions, please write to me. 

Your brother and coworker,
Dennis Sopelnik 

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

Posted on April 5, 2015 .