Hello brothers, families, and churches.
In my letter I want to share with you some news about the events in the lives of local churches, the Institute, and the events in Ukraine.
Still the military actions in the east of the country continue to take place, and at the moment they are very slowly progressing. In a result of the military clashes peaceful citizens suffer the most. The checking points that connect territories of Ukraine and those republics that are under insurgents control are sometimes closed. And many people cannot visit their relatives or solve issues with their documents or receive social security payments for weeks. Please pray for the solution of this conflict.
The Institute functions well and steadily. In February, first-year students had 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings and 1-2 Chronicles. Second-year students had 1-2 Peter and Jude and Personal Evangelism. We thank Ukrainian teachers who sacrifice their time and strength to prepare future preachers. Right now Denton Landon teaches Isaiah and Michael Underwood teaches 1-2 Timothy and Titus at the Institute. We thank them for their help and ministry.
There are two new students who joined the BV program this month. Dmytro Levenets is a very faithful and responsible brother from the Ternopil church of Christ. He is 24, and he is willing to be a minister in God’s Kingdom. I’ve known him for many years, and we’ve had many conversations about him studying at Bear Valley. Many workers of the Institute talked to him and only this year he made the decision to become part of our study program. Another brother is Sergey Tsutko from the Nikopol church of Christ. A local preacher advised us to let Sergey join our program, considering him to be a gifted student and a good evangelist. Thus, we have 8 students in the program, four men in the first-year class and four men in the second-year.
We still are actively searching for students for the next school year. Brothers Alexey and Andrew visited Nikopol where they preached at the church and rehab center, did an advertisement for the Institute, and recruited students. As I have mentioned earlier, Sergey has joined our program as a result of this trip. Last month I visited Skvyra and Kyiv, and I had an opportunity to preach there and tell about the work of the Institute. We might have students for the next school year from these towns. We have some good prospective students at the moment. Please pray for them and their decisions.
At the beginning of February we had a meeting of church of Christ ministers in Kyiv. Bear Valley Bible Institute organizes these meetings. There were about 40 representatives of the churches of Christ from all over Ukraine at this meeting. I taught a class on the topic “Sound Interpretation of the Bible: Basics of Hermeneutics.” Brothers from Kyiv and Chernivtsi also had the floor. The purpose for these meetings is deeper study of the Bible and spreading the sound doctrine. of course. To my surprise, these meetings received wide support from many brothers and leaders of local congregations. They supported my idea of gathering from time to time and studying the Bible. The next meeting we plan to have in Dnipropetrorvsk. I hope it will be even greater event and we expect ministers from all churches of Ukraine to come.
We continue to evangelize actively. I think it is a vital part of preacher’s ministry. Sometimes we evangelize on the streets of the town. We take out the tables and the tent and give away Bibles and spiritual literature. We try to talk to people and invite them to study the Bible. Also we plan to give an ad to the local newspaper and invite citizens of the town to come to the Bible studies. We’ll see what method would be more effective.
The local congregation is doing well. Unfortunately, there were no baptisms yet. However, the church became more active. There are classes for Christians almost every day. The Bible school for kids functions well. They started having youth group meetings. It’s very comfortable for me to cooperate with the local preacher, Konstantin. I think we are an encouragement for this church, as it is for us.
We send our greetings and gratitude for the support of the Institute, students, and teachers. Thank you for your prayers and personal letter that encourage me.
You brother and coworker,