Dear brothers and sisters,
I'd like to share with you some latest news from Ukraine. It's winter time here and the temperature outside drops below zero. Nobody minds it really and in a couple of days the schools and Universities will resume classes after the winter break. Our Bible Institute classes started on January 8th. So students had got two weeks for winter break. Most of them left Bela Tserkva to go back to their home towns.
I request some special prayers for our second year student Sergiy Omelchenko. He had high fever for more than three weeks and the doctors could not determine what was causing it. Eventually he was hospitalized in Kiyv and they ran more detailed tests. As the result they found some specific virus in his lungs. I'm not a doctor and I can't explain it better but as far as I understood it the virus resembles a form of hidden tuberculosis. It's very sad indeed because his family can't afford any extensive treatment. Of course, we try to help them out but it's very expensive and will take a few months.
In December we had Ukrainian members of our staff teaching the courses. So, the first year students had the book of Genesis (by Viktor Semikoz), Exodus - Deuteronomy (Dennis Sopelnik), Godhead, Angels and Satan (Vitaly Rodichev), Gospels by Matthew and Mark (Albert Bagdasaryan) and the second year students had 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (Dennis Sopelnik), Book of Acts (Vladimir Paziy) and Denominational Doctrines (Andrew Zhuravlev).
We are planning on having a one-day seminar in February where we want to discuss the subject of appointing elders in Ukrainian congregations of the Church of Christ. As of now, there are a few congregations with potential candidates. Our brother Mike Underwood agreed to share his experience and insight on this matter. I hope when everything falls in place we will have sound and mature men to lead the congregations and encourage us to follow the Lord.
Before the beginning of the winter break we traditionally had a lot of fellowship with our students and spend our time in encouragement, prayers and discussions. In my opinion the strong ties between our students and Instructors are very important. Friendship that started in the Institute will last for years to come. We have graduates who stayed so close that they went together to establish new congregations of the Church of Christ.
The Commentary on the Book of Daniel was sent to the publishing house and we are very excited to get the books soon. Undoubtedly it helps many preachers thoroughly ponder the Word of God. We are thankful to everyone who participated in the project.
In this report I'd like to thank all brethren who generously sacrifice their funds to support the ministry of the Bible Institute in our country. Ukraine is pretty much the only country in Europe where the true meaning of Christianity became wide spread. And we owe it to a lot of you.
My family sends their greetings. Your brother, Dennis Sopelnik.