The Ability To See Blessings In The Midst Of Adversity....

Hello brothers and sisters, 

Ukraine is such a blessed country, and perhaps these events which are still taking place in the east of the country are a reminder for all of us that God can punish nations for the unwillingness to learn about His will. We urge you to keep praying for the peace in Ukraine and for those Christians who are still on the territories controlled by the pro-Russian insurgents. Next year there might be several Christians from the occupied territories entering the BVBIU program. 

In April we had a wonderful meeting of the church of Christ ministers in Dnipropetrovsk. We made it a good tradition to have such meetings once every 2-3 months and discuss important Biblical matters. This time we discussed such topics: The True Church of Christ and Whom God Considers to Be Saved. Such meetings give some food for thought, and I’m sure they encourage many ministers and church leaders. 

In April, first-year students studied Daniel, Ezekiel, and Luke; second-year students studied Paul’s Prison Epistles, Galatians and Revelation. We are grateful for all of the teachers who participate in training the ministers. This year there will be three students graduating from BVBIU. I’m sure that you remember that this class was recruited in 2014 when the military actions in Ukraine just started. It seemed then that the military opposition would cease soon and everything will be back to normal again. However, it’s been two years since then. In a month we’ll have yet another graduation and will be thinking about how to recruit the new ones. Life goes on, and there are many people in need of sound doctrine and trained preachers. If you are willing and have an opportunity to support the Institute, the future graduates and their ministry financially, please contact BVBIU coordinator, Denton Landon, or me. 

We are still actively recruiting students for the school year 2015-2016. Our worker, Alexey Mitskutis, made several important trips to Kremenchug and Lviv. He preached at those congregations and made presentations to invite men to enter the Institute. There are several good additional contacts with young men who got interested in studying at the Institute. Keep praying for us and for the successful work of the church and the Institute in Ukraine. 

Good weather has been set in Ukraine, and we have started preaching on the streets of our town more often. Almost every time we go to the central part of the town and put out our tables with literature and invitations many people come closer and get interested. Unfortunately, when they get literature and invitations they don’t contact us again. We have given it much thought about how we can tell this town about God’s church and what way of inviting people to study God’s word would be effective. Right now we have an opportunity to put the invitations to the church on huge billboards across the town. I hope that in the near future we’ll start this project, and we’ll pray that this call would aid to God’s word. Of course nothing can substitute the personal contact; therefore, we started playing soccer with students, church members and non-Christians regularly. We pray before the game and have fellowship after it. At first some people didn’t understand our actions, but now they are used to it and what is more important our circle is getting bigger. Moreover, part of our students and teachers started visiting hospitals in the town to give out New Testaments there, to pray for the people, and what is more important to have personal Bible studies. 

We thank everyone who participates in the process of training preachers in Ukraine. God’s work requires self-sacrifice and responsibility. You are demonstrating it continually, supporting the Institute, students, and the teachers. We pray for you, and we know that you always pray for us. 

You brother and co-worker,
Dennis Sopelnik

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

Posted on May 8, 2016 .