Dear brothers and sisters,
I'd like to share with you news about the events at our Bible Institute that took place in January and February.
The first few days of the year I spent with my family. We enjoy spending some time distanced from the rest of people, having recreational family activities such as playing with our girls, visiting parks, going for a walk, etc.
The new school semester started on January 8th. Our students returned from their winter break and prepared to resume their studies. Thus, the first year students had the Wisdom Literature (Instructor - Dennis Sopelnik), Judges and Ruth (Chris Moran), 1 and 2 Samuel (Viktor Semikoz) and Minor Prophets (Andrew Zhuravlev). The second year students had World's Religion (Albert Bagdasaryan), Homiletics II (Stanislav Kuropyatnikov), Galatians (Walter Raubyrn), 1 and 2 Peter and Jude (Michael Underwood). As you have noticed we had quite a few Instructions from the States.
When finished teaching their courses brothers Chris and Walter took part in the winter lectureship in the Carpathian Mountains. It was the second annual lectureship that's organized and hosted by American and Ukrainian brethren. The main goal of the event is to unite and encourage the congregations in the Western Ukraine. Few days in the mountains, wonderful lessons and Christian fellowship produce good results, and, as one of the attendees commented to me, this year the hugs were genuine and welcomed, more family like. At the same time there was another lectureship in the Eastern Ukraine. Thus Christians from both sides of Ukraine didn't miss any joy of visiting their lectureship.
The Bible Institute is working well. We currently have 10 students. And one more student (Tamara) occasionally takes the courses she has missed. This year we anticipate 5 students finishing the program. They'll graduate and receive their diplomas.
Our student and brother Sergey Omelchenko is back to the hospital, he was diagnosed with TB and he needed urgent treatments. I request your prayers for his recovery and boldness to preach while he's in the hospital.
And, finally, last Saturday Michael Underwood had a one-day seminar on leadership. He taught a lot about the eldership and how local congregations can prepare for such an important step. There were 20-25 people attending the event. We all had a great time and were able to raise and discuss questions that were important to us. As you know, only very few congregations in Ukraine have eldership, the majority of us go by the decisions of the men's meetings. So, we need to prepare and finalize this matter. We are very thankful to Michael and his wife Janine for their ministry in Ukraine. They come three years in a row and efficiently respond to our spiritual needs.
My family, our students and Instructors send their greetings to you and sincere appreciation of you support and prayers. We love you and we are looking forward to your possible visit, so you can come and see the fruit of our joined efforts, as His Kingdom is growing.
Your brother and co-worker in the Lord's vineyard,