Plans Made For Graduation In Ukraine The End Of May...

Hello dear brothers, families and churches.

I want to share with you some latest news from Ukraine in my report. We still have military actions in Eastern part of our country, right now it's more like slow shooting over the borderline territories; nevertheless, the sounds of firearms never cease. With the coming of spring, many people are worried that, after the greenery springs up, the active phase of military actions will begin. We continue helping those who are in desperate need of help. Recently our congregation sent money to one of the preachers in Mariupol. His parents used to live in Donetsk and unknown people robbed their apartment and took everything, even including salt. This story tells a lot: looting, starvation, unemployment, and panic flourish on those unrecognized territories. We ask you to continue praying for Ukraine and our brethren who stayed on in the occupied territories.

In April, God blessed us to have a good seminar for the local church of Christ congregations. We had visitors from Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi. It was a wonderful time for worship together and edification. We try to encourage churches in the western part of our country. Unfortunately, as I have mentioned previously, traditional denominations (such as Catholic and Orthodox) have very strong roots here, and evangelizing efforts require a huge amount of time and patience. People can have Bible studies with you for hours, but they will do their routine work, attend cathedrals and participate in a non-biblical worship just because their ancestors did that. It is a great challenge to continue doing ministry for God. 

Bear Valley Bible Institute in Ukraine
The classes in the Institute go stably according to the schedule. In April, we had both Ukrainian and American teachers at the Institute. Brother John Durham taught Luke to the 1st-year group and Galatians to the 2nd-year students. We are grateful for his help and eagerness to be with us and to share his experience and knowledge. I taught Ezekiel, Albert Bagdasaryan taught Daniel, and Vitaliy Rodichev taught Pauline Prison Epistles. We thank these brethren for their help in teaching future ministers in the church. Brother Dan Owen continues having classes via Polycom system, and now he teaches Revelation. 

This year three students will graduate and another two will have to complete several more courses next year. We plan to have graduation ceremony on May 30 at the Institute facility. 

One of our future graduates (Sergey Chubenko and his family) is invited to serve as an assistant minister at his home congregation in Smila. We try to help him and his family in this ministry. 

We have several prospective students from different parts of Ukraine for the next school year. Brethren from their home congregations contacted me and gave them good recommendations. Let us pray for them to choose wisely. 

The question about the future location of the Institute is still open. For the last year we have been trying to find a better solution for both our American and Ukrainian teachers.  The Institute’s location should be convenient for everybody, including the students. We have several good options, and I hope we will make a wise decision soon. 

We continue looking for support for the future work of the Institute at the moment. Due to this work, there were more than 100 preachers trained for ministry for the past 15 years. Some of them preach, and others serve as good ministers and teachers. We do our best for the church in Ukraine to be strong and sound. All this work is being done due to your prayers and financial support. If you have an opportunity to support the Institute and are willing to participate in this important work, please contact coordinators of Ukrainian program: Denton Landon - , Howell Ferguson -  and Dennis Curd -,

We are grateful for your help and prayers. BVBIU students and teachers send you their greetings.

Your brother and coworker for the Lord’s cause,
Dennis Sopelnik

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

Posted on May 10, 2015 .