A Recent Visit To Gorlovka Strengthens The Church...

Dear friends, 

I want to share with you my thoughts after visiting Gorlovka. Thank you for your prayers. I made it home safely on Saturday. The Lord kept me safe during my time staying in the unrecognized Donetsk republic. I guess the most difficult thing during the whole trip was to see the eyes of Christians who met me with joy. We spent several hours reminiscing of the peaceful times and being strengthened by God’s word. We used apartments of Christians as places for gathering. We read many psalms of encouragement during this short period of time. Some Christians cried. I was touched by what I saw. Despite everything they’ve been through, they didn’t lose their faith. They’ve lived for weeks in a row without water, electricity, and gas. Oftentimes they had to go down to cellars of the apartment buildings, hiding from shelling. Many of them had their homes and windows broken and utilities damaged. Some of them still haven’t replaced the broken glass. They’ve learned to put thin plastic film and fix it with duct tape. But they don’t see it as a problem. They still put their trust in God and see their protection only in Him. 

Thank you, all brothers and sisters who sent me words of encouragement for Christians in Gorlovka. I told them about your love and care. They pray for all those missionaries who came to them. We thank Johnny Mack Young, Shackle Island Church of Christ, Steve Housley and Bear Valley Church of Christ for the financial support for these Christians. Many of them have admitted that this help is essential for them. Even now the social services do not work well in this unrecognized republic. Even though the pensions are being paid, it’s not enough to live by for the whole month. 

Christians in Gorlovka are looking forward to Andrew Zhuravlev’s visit, and want him to come back. I also managed to visit several non-Christian families; their children used to attend our Bible school for kids. They asked about the church and about God, but they are afraid to become Christians, since this pro-Russian republic acknowledges only Moscow Orthodox church. 

Thank you again for your prayers. I hope my trip would be an encouragement for all Christians on both sides of the frontline. There are still so many Christians staying in Donetsk and Lughansk areas without their ministers. I urge you to pray for them. 

Your brother and coworker,
Dennis Sopelnik

If you want to see Dennis' report with pictures, please click here.

Posted on October 18, 2015 .