A Young Work With Great Potential...

Dear brothers, families and churches,

I want to share with you some of the news about the Bear Valley Bible Institute in Ukraine. I don’t know many of you personally, but I hope that while reading my reports you will learn more about Ukraine, the church of Christ there and the work of the Bible institute.

Due to God’s help, your prayers and personal support, now we have an opportunity to teach 14 people in this Bible program. Some of them in half a year will graduate and will go on their way serving God and preaching His word in local churches.

November was full of interesting events. First of all, at the beginning of the month, students went on the evangelizing campaigns to 3 cities in Ukraine. Every year we plan 2 campaigns: one takes place in spring and the other takes place in fall. We divided students into 3 teams, as we’ve done it before, and they went to help local churches (Gorlovka, Illovays and Slavyansk). We are working with those churches for quite a while and try to support churches and their ministers there. Overall, the campaign went well, and in some cities the evangelizing brought some fruits, and new people started coming to Bible classes and Sunday services. Our goal is to preach Christ, and in this way we encourage churches to keep on evangelizing constantly. 

Second, we had an opportunity to visit a seminar in Kramatorsk that was taught by American brothers, whose leader was David Deffenbaugh. The topic of the seminar was “Fixing our eyes on Jesus.” There were several speakers who taught us, inspired, encouraged and shared their experience with us for several days.

In this month, there were only Ukrainian teachers teaching the classes: Vladimir Paziy, Vitaliy Rodichev (both of them work as preachers in Kramatorsk) and Victor Semikoz (a preacher from Krasnyy Liman). All of them are Bear Valley graduates. These brothers are constantly working with the Institute and helping it a lot. Due to their help, we have a good team of Ukrainian preachers who think alike and stand in the sound doctrine. 

Besides teaching at the Institute and coordinating its work, I try to visit local churches and look for the potential students. 

At the end of November, we were blessed by the arrival of Owen and Moonean Farley. They have been working in Ukraine for quite a long time, especially with Central Church of Christ in Gorlovka. Owen will teach at the Institute and conduct some classes and seminars for the church. We are thankful for this help and for their desire to serve God. 

As for the building and the process of registering the paperwork, I think that due to the prayers of so many people, we are close to the finish. In the summer, when this building was registered as the church property, we couldn’t know that there would be many difficulties we would have to face, which is signing new contracts with service and utility providers (such as electricity, water, phone companies, land rent, firefighters etc.) and officially discontinuing the old ones. However, the main part of work is already done. Now this three-month-race is almost over. Since we’ve registered the building as the church property, we are already saving 15% of our funds, even though the prices in the world increase annually. Thank you for showing patience and support when we needed it.

Students send you their greetings and gratitude for the opportunity they have to study God’s Word and for their financial support. They understand that if not for the support from American churches, they would have to work full time; therefore, they wouldn’t be able to dedicate that much time to learning Biblical disciplines.

God’s churches in Ukraine are not older than 20 years, and they aren’t still able to support financially this so expensive and yet such an important project as the Bible Institute, that trains and prepares news preacher of the Gospel every year. We need your financial support, and if you are willing to help us, please contact the coordinator of our Institute – Howell Ferguson (hferguson@bvbid.org).

I want to thank you for your help and trust to this extension school in Ukraine, and for showing persistence and effort while helping us. Ukraine is situated in the “heart of the Europe,” so maybe eventually this work that we are doing together will bring forth the big fruits. 

God bless you

Your coworker in serving the Lord
Dennis Sopelnik

To see the report with pictures, click here.

Posted on December 4, 2011 .