Graduation In Ukraine... Bitter and Sweet

Dear brothers, churches and families. 

I hope you all are doing well. We keep praying for the families who have suffered as a result of tornado.  

May was a happy month and full of events. 

First, Terry Harmon with his family and Jim Sherman visited us. They both helped with the work in the Institute: Terry taught Greek, and Jim taught classes “Preacher and his work” and “Intertestamental period”. I thank God for these brothers who are an example of servitude for every one of us. We all can see how God works in Terry’s family; Andrew looks great, and remembering the last year events, we see how our Lord takes care of Christians. 

Second, we have good news: we finally found our next secretary for the Institute. It took Howell and me a while to find a good candidate for this position. We knew that this person should have a good reputation, sound understanding of the Bible and willingness to serve people. Her name is Oksana Heohdzhayeva, and she just finished her first year at Bear Valley Bible Institute. Previously, she got her BA and MA in English and spent two years working and studying in the U.S. Oksana will start her work in September, but she is already helping us to get ready to the new school year. Her email: If you have any questions or suggestions about her, please write to me.  

Third, the happiest and the saddest event was the graduation of our students. At the beginning of the two-year period, their group consisted of many students, but only five of them could actually finish all the courses. Every one of them will stay dear to us and to God, but it’s time for them to start sharing the knowledge that they acquired. Please pray for their future ministries and that they would stay faithful to the very end. This year we have had a wonderful graduation. Howell brought shirts with the Institute logo on them to all of the teachers and graduates and portfolio folders with the Institute logo to the graduates. They all enjoyed such presents, and I could see that Ukrainian teachers saw themselves as a part of the big team that serves all around the world.  

June 1, we had to say good-bye to Howell and Mary Ferguson. They’ve been helping and encouraging me and others at the institute for 3 months. They eased the process of getting along with the work while looking for secretary. They always tried to be where their help was needed. Their input in the Institute and church in Ukraine is enormous. I pray that they have a safe trip, and we hope to see them soon, if Lord’s willing.  

In the Central Church of Christ in Gorlovka, we’ve had one baptism in May. The lady’s name is Lyudmila. She had been studying the Bible with Andrew Zhuravlev (the preacher) for about a month before she made this important decision. Please keep her in your prayers. 

This month we’ve also had the meeting of the preachers in Svyatogorsk. We also visited churches of Christ in Donetsk (Ozerna and Proletarsk) and made presentations of our Institute there. 

Starting with June, the Institute is on summer break. The classes will resume on September 5. At the moment, we have 7 applicants to the program who want to start studying in the fall.   

Thanks for all your prayers and support that you give to the Institute and to my family. All the information about the future ownership of the building will be mailed to you as soon as we receive it. 

God bless you in your service to Him.  

Your co-worker, 

Posted on June 5, 2011 .