Three Students Complete Their Courses And Graduate In Ukraine...

Hello dear brothers and sisters. 

I want to share with you some news of the joyful events in the life of the Institute and some churches of Christ. 

First of all, we had graduation 2016 on May 28. This year there were three men prepared for the ministry: Alexander Drogaitsev, Ivan Lushnikov and Sergey Pavlenkov. These brethren got into the program when the Institute was still in Ternopil, and fortunately, having received the needed experience and knowledge, they are ready to start ministering. 

Alexander Drogaitsev joined the Master’s program after receiving his Bachelor’s degree. Most likely he will stay in Bila Tserkva and help the local congregation in their ministry. During the time of his studies, we discovered many of his talents; he can preach, encourage, give good advice and cook wonderful meals. I’m sure the church receives a very good and wise minister. 

Ivan Lushnikov is going back to his local congregation in Kramatorsk where he will also help to minister and work with young people. He had a great attitude towards the process of studying. 

Sergey Pavlenkov will most likely continue his ministry in the church of Christ in Nikopol, where there is a rehab center. Right now he is still in the process of negotiation with this congregation, and they discuss the details of Sergey and his wife moving to that town. During the times of studies he proved to be a brother who loves God and is well organized. 

Also in May we had American brothers come and teach at the institute. Gary Fallis taught Jeremiah; Jim Sherman taught James and Preacher and His Work. We are grateful for their service and for sharing their experience and wisdom in the knowledge of Gods word. 

Right now we a have a period of summer practice. Usually students go to their local congregations and they have assignments for each summer month. They have to preach, visit the sick and spiritually weak, evangelize and participate in summer camps. It’s a wonderful time for the students to receive practical skills of working with local congregations. Sometimes the students are invited to continue helping the work of the local congregation after they finish their studies at the Institute. 

Several men and women have contacted me concerning the next school year, and we have 7-8 potential students. I ask you to pray with us for their decision and willingness to study at the Institute. Sometimes it happens in Ukraine that a person has an interest to become a part of the program, but after some time they no longer answer our phone calls. That’s why it is a raw spot for me. I hope it happens only in Ukraine. 

Ministry of the churches of Christ in Ukraine

We have yet other good news. In May there was another baptism at the Shevchenkivska church of Christ in Kyiv. The young man’s name is Arthur; he has been studying the word of God for a while and came to the only right conclusion. It is wonderful that our student Yuriy Romanov baptized him. I have already mentioned that Yuriy is a wonderful brother who is ready to share the gospel at any time. He has a wonderful family, and I hope that he will become a full time preacher in his local congregation after his graduation in February. 

We continue to minister actively and preach the gospel in Bila Tserkva. The church here reached the point where they want to grow spiritually and in number. We started using the various methods of reaching out to people. Some brethren started visiting the hospitals (the ones where they treat cancer patients), and others are actively preaching on the streets of the town. Unfortunately, we don’t see new faces at the church now, but we’ll continue doing God’s work. 

As for the building of the Institute in Gorlovka, as you know, it is now on the territory that is not under the control of Ukraine, and it doesn’t belong to us either in fact or by the law, since there are different laws there in action. However, we decided to ensure our rights in case this territory goes back to Ukraine. I inquired what we need to do to start a legal procedure of the fact of illegal confiscation of the building, and it seems that we have done all we could. We have admitted petitions to the police, and government officials have to do something. 

We are grateful for all those who help the ministry of the Institute in Ukraine. Together we do a great work. It won’t be an exaggeration to write that we still have a lot to do and to suffer much, but if God is with us, then who can stand against us. 

Your brother and coworker,
Dennis Sopelnik

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

Posted on June 5, 2016 .