New Opportunities, Ideas and Plans In Ukraine...

Dear brothers, families and churches.

Every New Year is associated for us with new opportunities, ideas and plans. We want to wish everybody wisdom and patience in fulfilling God’s will. We still have many ideas that weren’t implemented before, and we hope to complete most of what we have planned with the help of your prayers and support of God’s work in Ukraine.

The passing year was very successful for the institute and God’s church. We had 5 graduates. One of the graduates is working as a secretary at the institute, and two others help local churches in their work. Also we had a very successful recruitment. We have 10 freshmen, who actively joined God’s work and student’s life. Sponsors continue supporting the institute despite the difficult economic situation. We thank our Creator for this all. This year was fruitful for us. We don’t know what is waiting for us in the year 2013, but we fully rely on His mercy. 

In December, I had an opportunity to make several important trips to recruit new students for the next school year. I visited Dnipropetrovsk and Dniprodzerzhynsk (these two cities are situated in Central Ukraine). Our graduate, Alexander Rodichev is preaching in one of these cities. He finished our program two years ago. God is really taking care of His work in Ukraine. Alexander and his wife Helen (also BVBIU graduate) has been coming to Dnipropetrovsk for more than a year now. He is preaching there, and Lena is teaching Bible classes for kids. They both are willing to move there permanently. 

At the end of December, we had some fellowship time with our students to summarize and celebrate the passing year 2012; it was interesting and fun. Some of the students participated in preparing this celebration. I think that such events help to create friendly atmosphere among our students. Right now the institute is on the Winter Break, and classes will resume on January 8. We are looking forward to Howell Ferguson’s arrival; he will teach Homiletics 2.

In January, another student from Smela (Cherkassy region), Sergey, will join our program. He wanted to become our student, but his family situation didn’t allow him to do that. In February, we expect the arrival of another student from Kramatorsk, Arthur. Please pray for these men because they are future leaders for God’s church. 

Right now the weather in Ukraine is good: -5C at night and +2C during day. We have managed to put three new windows in two classrooms, and we have to print new advertising flyers for the institute. As you can see, Solomon wisely said that “money answereth all things” (Eccl. 10:19). Living in this material world, we really depend on it. Some say that money rules the world, but our Lord is even greater than that. We have to be thankful for everything that we have, and He will always give to His children what they need. 

Also we have some sad news. We had to say goodbye to one of our students, Julia. She is kind but very reserved young lady, who started our program in September. From the very beginning, it was difficult for her to study. She showed low results on final tests and memory work tests, didn’t do her homework on time and often missed classes without the valid reasons. We talked about that with the teachers, and after several conversations with Julia, we decided that she has to leave the program. Please pray for her and her future. 

In the Central Church of Christ in Gorlovka, we had a baptism. A lady Galina (she is sight impaired) decided to be baptized again. She was previously baptized in Artyomovsk Church of Christ, but then she went to the church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and after that she returned to us. After several conversations with the preacher, Andrew Zhuravlyov, she decided to be baptized again. We hope that she will become a faithful Christian. 

My wife and I continue visiting the orphanage. Even though our visits are rare (only 2-3 times in a month), we got used to those kids, and they also love us. 

Our students send you their greetings and the best wishes. We want to thank everyone who participates in the work of this institute: American and Ukrainian teachers, sponsors and those who continuously support us in prayers. We need all of you.

Your brother and co-worker for the Lord’s cause,

Dennis Sopelnik

If you would like to see Dennis’ report with pictures, please click here.

Posted on January 6, 2013 .