The Church Is Encouraged As BVBIU Settles Into A New Place...

Hello dear brothers, families and churches. 

I want to share with you the latest news about the events in Ukraine, the Bible Institute, and church in Bila Tserkva. I will start with good news. It’s weird, but it’s been a week that there are no sounds of shootings in Donetsk area. People lead a peaceful life on the territories of so-called DNR and LNR. Ukraine recognized de facto these unrecognized republics, and now the long process of peaceful negotiations has started. I think now the main weapon for Ukraine is skillful diplomacy. We would really want for complete peace to start and for the Ukrainians to learn the important lessons from this tragedy. A nation that does not revere God is doomed. 

The classes are going in full speed. Denton Landon and Stas Kuropyatnikov taught at the Institute at the beginning of September. Now, Jim Sherman and Vitaliy Rodichev are teaching. We are thankful for our teachers who try to support the Institute and show great care about it. Also I want to express thanks to Patrick Gallagher who came to support my family and encourage all students to serve God. 

Two more students joined our program in September: Lyudmila (Sergey Pavlenkov’s wife, who is our second-year student) and Sergey Ponomarenko. Lyudmila dreams to serve together with her husband in the church, teaching Bible classes for kids and for ladies. The educational process is very difficult for her, but she does her best. Very rarely I see people who have such zeal for studying God’s word. That means we have 9 people in our program at the moment. And if the Lord is willing, another man will join us in November. He lives in Donetsk at the moment and is applying for the papers that would allow him to cross the border. It appears that people ought to have special passes in order to cross the border of Ukraine and occupied territory. I’m asking you to pray for him and for the Institute. 

We have evangelizing practice scheduled in November. Now we are planning the activities. Most likely we will divide students in three groups and in such a way we will be able to help three local congregations evangelize locally. Maybe this time we will try to work more actively through the church members and invite their relatives and people they know to come to Bible classes. People understand both Ukrainian and Russian quite easily in this part of Ukraine. Therefore, I hope it won’t be difficult for us to spread the information about Christ among the people of this town. 

The church is doing great. It was greatly encouraged by the Institute moving there. I would say it’s like a fresh breath in the lives of these people. I hope that such encouragement and desire to be useful for God will be there constantly. Brethren in the church joined the ministry. Recently I taught a lesson on how to prepare and deliver a sermon I noticed that many brothers would like to preach, but they are afraid and nervous, and what is more important they don’t know where to start. I hope that we’ll help this congregation to grow spiritually and in number. We resumed Bible classes for kids and for ladies. Also we started a program of learning English through the Bible. It’s good to have a team that works well together. We thank Konstantin Kisilenko, a preacher of this congregation, for this fruitful cooperation. 

We continue looking for a secretary for the Bachelor’s program. We don’t want to make hasty decisions. We invite interpreters to work periodically, and we observe who will fit the Institute’s requirements. I have also asked Alexey Mitskutis, BVBIU graduate class of 2014, to be an assistant at the Institute and do the work of recruiting new students. He will start working the beginning of November. I ask you to pray for his ministry and assistance at the Institute. 

We are grateful for all those who support the work of the Bible Institute. We thank you for your prayers and financial support. We continue training ministers due to your care and constant prayers. 

Your brother and coworker,
Denis Sopelnik

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

Posted on October 11, 2015 .