Teaching at Seminary

God blessed David with more opportunities to teach at the Lviv seminary recently. Here is a photo with the class that he helped to teach in January about prayer and worship:

The students were wonderful. There were two different faculties combined into one class group: the Church Ministry Development faculty and the New Church Planting faculty. The former of the two is basically a school for deacons in existing churches, while the second tries to form local teams to plant new churches. Some of the deacons group were from churches that David has worked with or had contact with in the past, so it was wonderful to reconnect with them.

This class is actually a combination of two different subjects: the theology and practice of prayer, and the theology and practice of Christian worship. It’s hard to teach either one of those thoroughly in a single week, so the material is very streamlined and practical. Much of the homework is different protects to put prayer and worship into action. Here are some of the students’ assignments:

  • 25 days of prayer for a particular people group
  • A full day of prayer by yourself without distraction or internet
  • An 18-minute presentation in class of a mini worship service with all of the essential elements, though without a sermon
  • A prayer walk

David and the students watched lectures together by Dr. Jim Ehrhard, a seminary professor that recently moved from Ukraine to America, and David would stop each video at different points, either explaining what Jim meant, adding his two cents, saying where he disagreed, or asking questions for discussion with the students. David has gotten the same feedback twice in a row now from two different sets of students—he needs to ditch the videos and just teach the class by himself! That is very encouraging; however, until he has completed his master’s degree, there will still be a connection between this class and the old video material, as he cannot officially teach the class by himself.

Please pray for the seminary and for David’s students. Every time they come to Lviv, there is a danger for running into a draft officer on the road to the seminary. Ukraine has had heavy losses recently, and draft officers are starting to stop people on the streets or at the train station to give them draft papers.

Trying to summarize 2022

I was thinking the other day about how to summarize this year. Every month has been some new adventure for our family. Here are a few highlights from each month:

  • In January we prepared for evacuation, while I recovered from surgery
  • In February Russia attacked, and we evacuated our family and a good friend to the EU (Katya Snead, Таня Стоколос, Irena Stokolos, and Olya Romanchak + two dogs and a cat)
  • In March we all got covid, and I did a humanitarian run into Ukraine with a friend
  • In April we served refugees, and I preached and led worship in refugee churches
  • In May we took in humanitarian aid and took refugees out to the EU
  • In June we bought a bigger car in Ukraine and flew to America
  • In July we were in America, visiting churches
  • In August we were in America, visiting family
  • In September Katya and I graduated from seminary and started spending more and more time in Ukraine
  • In October we translated for chaplains and prepared for an evangelical concert
  • In November we worked at the Ukrainian seminary—Katya translated for one class while I taught another—and I published a book about Ukrainian holidays
  • In December we prepared for winter (there’s often no power in Ukraine), I started my master’s degree, and Katya translated at the seminary

Some cool things we’ve learned this year:

  • Sitting in a line for 62 hours is not too bad if you’re with people you love
  • Pets are a wonderful stress reducer, especially if they’re well-trained and behaved
  • You can still get a lot of work done if the power is out and the internet doesn’t work, just make sure your computer is always charged
  • Always fill up your thermos with hot water before bed, because you don’t know if there’ll be electricity to make coffee in the morning
  • If the power goes out while you’re cooking, the electric stove is usually still hot enough to warm up leftovers from yesterday
  • Camping stoves are awesome, and so are sleeping bags and all the other camping equipment and experience we’ve had over the years
  • A balcony makes a great refrigerator during the winter
  • Jesus really is all you need, but you really do need Him every day!

For some reason, I feel like this year still has a few more months left in it. It’s hard to believe that 2023 is just around the corner. God, please make this war end quickly, so that by the end of next year, we’ll be able to praise You with all the rebuilding we’ve already done in Ukraine.

In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.

David just published another book!

David just published a new book about Ukrainian Christmas and holiday traditions! If you would like to check it out, you can order it on Amazon by clicking here or on the picture below:

David has also published two other books:

We graduated from Seminary!

Both of us have graduated from the bachelor’s program at Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary! God’s faithfulness over these past four years has been AMAZING.

A video on Facebook commemorating the class of 2022 with the rector’s commencement speech (in Ukrainian).

The mentorship and effective ministry for women and girls faculty class of 2022. Katya is the third from the left.

It was so cool to graduate TOGETHER!

The pastoral ministry class of 2022. David is the third from the right, kneeling in the center.

David receiving his diploma from the rector of the seminary. David graduated with honors, as did most of his class.

Katya hugging her faculty head before receiving her diploma from the seminary rector. The seminary staff have shown us the love of Christ and become some of our best friends, especially in this time of turmoil and confusion.

David is already continuing his studies in the master’s program at UBTS, and Katya is waiting on her faculty to resolve some of the chaos of the war before she can get started again. Our desire is to use the things that we have learned to strengthen the local church here in Ukraine. The more practical needs we see here, the more our desire to study grows, so that we can meet those needs well.