A Letter from Dima Sobovoy
Dima translates a class on the book of Hosea.
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Western experts gave Ukraine up to two weeks before it would collapse.
Almost a year later, it still stands. This is also true of many churches that almost overnight became the only humanitarian shelters for their communities. But the new challenges were no small issue. Many churches were rapidly losing their members due to death, war duties or immigration, although some were also gaining new ones.
Air raid sirens and power outages became routine. The need to shepherd and guide people through suffering, pain, and injustice became paramount.
In the fall of 2022, I was asked to come and participate with resuming a seminary session in one of Kyiv’s seminaries.
I traveled to Ukraine the first week of January, tasked with translating a class on the book of Hosea taught by an American pastor. Also, I was asked to teach a class of my choice from The Master’s Seminary (where I currently study). The obvious choice was Biblical Counseling (with the emphasis on suffering). Both of those classes were to be taught back to back, every day for four days.
By God’s grace and through the strong prayerful support of Faith Bible Church, this task was accomplished. Even with daily power outages and random city bombings, 11 students (teachers, deacons and pastors from various parts of Ukraine) showed up to the class. 15 more free listeners came as well. Both classes were recorded, and I know they will be viewed by many more.
Besides many personal interactions, I was also able to preach 3 times during various church gatherings. Every time I had an opportunity to speak, I brought the greetings and strong prayerful support from Faith with me.
My favorite memory that I will never forget was when I was finishing teaching for one of the days and suddenly the power went off. Complete darkness. Pitch black. Just me and some 25 students in the room. I couldn’t see anyone. It takes usually about 10 minutes for the generator to kick in.
I said, “Should we continue?”
“Yes,” someone yelled back.
And we finished the last 10 minutes in the pitch-black room, after which the generator kicked in.
Please keep praying for the truth of God’s Word to strengthen the believers and empower them for ministry in these times!
For the sake of the Name,