A Quiet Beginning To The New Year...

Dear brothers, families and churches.

I’m glad that I have an opportunity to share with you the news and events that took place at the Institute and some churches of Christ in Ukraine.

If I were to describe briefly the beginning of the year, 2013, I would say just one word, “quiet.” In Ukraine as in other post-soviet countries, the beginning of January is often called a “two-week vacation.” People are in no hurry; most offices are closed, and this idleness also influences the spiritual area. 

On January 8, the classes in our school resumed. Now we have 16 students in our program: 9 first-year students and 7 second-year students. In January, the former had Joshua, Judges and Ruth, and the latter had Homiletics II and World Religions.  

In the middle of January, we were visited by Howell Ferguson, the coordinator of the Ukrainian extension school. He taught Homiletics II, preached at the Sunday service and gave us wise advices about how to develop into a full-grown sound church. We are grateful for his work and ministry here in Ukraine.  

Some students have started preaching at the local congregations. Many of them do not have any financial support for this ministry, but their hearts are willing to spread the gospel. Last Sunday, four first-year students (Sergey Slastyonov, Roman Rotan, Vlad Borisenko and Pavel Tuznichenko) went to Illovaysk to participate in Sunday service there. I think it is a good starting point for them. We keep praying for each of them to use their full potential to serve the Lord. 

Also our students have an opportunity to preach in Dokuchayevsk (a small town in Donetsk region). There have been a church of Christ congregation there for 10 years, and they don’t have a full-time preacher at the moment. It is just as Jesus said: “The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2). 

There is sad and joyous news in the Central church of Christ in Gorlovka, an elderly lady Lidiya Andreyevna passed away. She was a faithful Christian, and we know that she went to the Lord. Yet since the church consists of about 30 people, the loss of one of the church members really affects them all. Apostle Paul in 1 Thess.4:13 gives us a joyful reminder that we hope to be with the Lord. And in verse 18 he writes, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 

We continue visiting the orphanage, and we thank you for your prayers.  Kids are looking forward to our visits. They are unexpectedly receptive of God’s Word, and many of them study the Bible by themselves. It encourages us a lot. 

At the beginning of May, there will be a Christian conference for churches of Christ in Ukraine. It will take place in Kiev, and I was invited as one of their speakers. I hope it will be a good opportunity to tell about our Bible institute and the sound doctrine that should be in God’s church. Please pray for this opportunity and for me. 

Thank you for your support both financial and spiritual of our ministry in Ukraine. God is accomplishing a lot through His servants. We are grateful for every soul who cares about preaching the gospel and keeps us in their prayers. 

BVBIU students and staff and God’s churches in Ukraine send you their greetings.  

God bless you abundantly for every good work. 

Your brother and coworker,
Dennis Sopelnik

To see Dennis' report with pictures, please click here.

Posted on February 10, 2013 .