Graduation In Ukraine...

Dear brothers, families and churches.

It's been a year since the building in Gorlovka was seized. Unfortunately, Russian aggression is still there. The military actions are still taking place, and it seems there will be yet another military campaign in summer. We continue training ministers for God's kingdom. This year we had another group of students graduate from BVBIU. We celebrated this wonderful event in Ternopil, where we had been located for the past year. We had three graduates this year: Sergey Vorobyov, Sergey Chubenko, and Vladimir Polomoshnov. Each one of them started their studies in Gorlovka, and now they have received diplomas holding their Bachelor's degree in Biblical studies. Yet we know that this is only the beginning of their personal spiritual growth. 

Sergey Chubenko and his family return to their hometown Smila, Cherkassy region. Sergey will be an assistant preacher, and he will be getting more experience there. We pray for them to start a new church in a while. His wife, Lyudmila, will be teaching Bible classes for kids and helping with ministry for ladies. The church in Smila is glad to receive such help. 

Vladimir Polomoshnov returned to his hometown Ochakiv, Mykolaiv region. There are no church of Christ congregations in this town. Vladimir plans to start a new congregation there and he will try to visit and help a congregation in Odessa, which is closer to him. 

Our brother in Christ, Sergey Vorobyov, is in the most difficult situation. He used to live and work in Donetsk before the military actions. As of right now, his house is destroyed, and he is homeless. He is looking for an opportunity to serve at any congregation of the Lord’s church in any part of Ukraine that will need his assistance. I ask you to pray for him and his future. 

It is time for summer break at the Institute. The students received an assignment for the summer to preach and teach at local congregations, helping their leaders. The classes will resume in September. During this period, I usually visit different congregations and look for new students for the next school year. Also, we might change the location for our school, it might be a town which is located closer to Kiev and the airport. We want to try to make traveling for our Ukrainian and American teachers easier. It will also be more convenient for our students. 

We have several prospective students who are willing to study in our program. This time it will be students from different areas of Ukraine. May God bless them in their desire, give them opportunity, and strengthen their families in this wise decision. 

We continue helping refugees from Donetsk area. This time we forwarded humanitarian aid sent from France. Unfortunately, there are more people who are in need of this help. Many people are running out of money that they've been saving for emergency. We are grateful for all who are participating in this. 

In May, we had American brothers in Christ visit, Jim Sherman and Steve Housley. Jim taught second-year courses on James and Preacher and His Work.  Steve taught first-year courses on John and John's epistles. They also taught Bible classes for the church in Kramatorsk via Skype. We are grateful for their work and ministry. 

We thank everyone who supports Bear Valley Bible Institute in Ukraine. With your help and prayers, we plan to have seven more ministers graduate next year. Wars start and wars end, but the kingdom of God will not be destroyed ever.

Your brother in Christ,

Sopelnik Dennis

To see Dennis’ report with pictures, click here

Posted on June 7, 2015 .