Graduation in Ukraine

Dear brethren and churches,

I'd like share with you the happy news from our Bible Institute. This year we had three graduates. On the one hand, it's a very joyous event but, on the other hand, two years ago there were 9 students who had started the studies and only three of them crossed the finish line. And two more students will graduate after they take a few more courses to meet all requirements of our Institute. Sadly, four students were asked to leave. Some of them didn't have good Christian morals and the others could not keep up with the load of academic work.

Our graduates got their Diplomas and now they can use their knowledge in practical ways. I'd like to write in detail about all graduates and their plans for future.

Sergey Khovrich is staying in Bela Tserkva for now. He has plans to evangelize in a tight security incarceration place. One of them is located within the city limits. He has some personal experience of prison life and quite possibly it's the best way for him to use his Biblical knowledge and practical skills.

Sergey Omelchenko moved his family to Bela Tserkva about a year ago and they are currently considering staying here. Originally they are from Konstantinivka. The family has three children. The older ones attend local schools and a little girl is in a kindergarten. Two weeks ago their oldest daughter was baptized for the forgiveness of sins and now Dasha is a part of our spiritual family. For a quiet family life Bela Tserkva is a reasonable choice. Not too far from Kiyv, the capital of Ukraine. There are job opportunities and the rentals are affordable. For now, Sergey was able to get employment at a saw mill. This job didn't require any work experience and Sergey went for it. His wife is employed as an administrator at a beauty parlor.

Oleg Fofanov returned to his home city of Konstantinivka upon receiving his diploma. Two years ago he was very serious about becoming their full-time preacher. I'm not sure if he had any change of plans but he has a really good potential to become an excellent preacher and leader for a local congregation. Oleg was a very diligent student and we will be praying for his right choices.

There is another great news, in my opinion. Our graduate of the last year Arthur Litvinenko who helped the work of Lviv Church of Christ decided to move to the city of Kremenchug where he plans to work with the local congregation.  He will be preaching and doing evangelical work. I think that this is definitely a step forward. With the Lord's help our graduates are preaching in many cities of Ukraine.

As of our potential students we have two who committed to study and three more who are still thinking about it. Every new school year it's a challenge and hope in God's help to find the right candidates. My last recruitment trip was to Zaporizzha. The local congregation has a lot of young men who are in the boarding school. Local preachers have worked with these young people for years and it has been fruitful.

And last but not the least, I'd like to express our sincere appreciation for everyone who supports the ministry of our Bible Institute. Firstly, to our sponsors who generously give this time, efforts and funds to continue training of the preachers in Ukraine. Secondly, our deep appreciation goes out to our Instructors and their families, both in Ukraine and the United States. This year we had Jim Sherman and Keith Kasarjian who attended the graduation ceremony. Even though very busy in the States they found time for us. We are very thankful to Terry Harmon, our extension coordinator, for his patience and hard work. And thanks to people who assist with our communicative needs - to our translators Konstanin Kisilenko and Natasha Parakhin. There many more name of the faithful people who work with us. Dear loved ones, your reward is great! Thank you for your help.

Your brother and co-worker,

Dennis Sopelnik.

Posted on June 10, 2019 .