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.

Reflections on Gorbachev’s Death

The following is text from my friend’s Facebook post. It will give you perspective on how many suffered under the last few years of the Soviet Union and definitely do not want to go back to those dark days. His name is Zmicer, and he’s from Belorus.

there lived a man. this man lived a long life. he lived in comfort, security and prosperity. and so, after all, now he’s dead.

nothing surprising. everyone dies.
for example, right now, because of the Russian shelling, or because of the wounds received from the Russians, perhaps right now, when you read this text, someone will die. maybe it will be an old man, or a soldier, or maybe someone’s child. and most likely, no one will name the deceased. his death will be just another unit entered into the statistics.

This is the harsh reality of today.
Mikhail Gorbachev died. and almost everyone gave at least a few lines in memory of the deceased. “an era is over” they say. “What a great man the deceased was.”

The Slavs have a tradition that one should say something good about the deceased or not say anything.

But I’m not one of those.

And reading all this, I tried to remember what good the deceased did.

And I didn’t find anything but three items:

  1. He let the Jews go.
  2. he gave up in the nuclear race.
  3. he gave up and left, stopping shedding the blood of people.

and that’s all he did well. everything else, it was blood, and suffering for people. it was under Gorbachev that the communists dealt with my almost 90-year-old grandfather. dealt with the feeble old man, for political reasons. under him and by his decision, in December 1986, the Russians staged a massacre in Alma-Ata. in January 1990, people were killed in Dushanbe. December 1990, blood and murder in Tbilisi.

1991 he shed much blood in Riga and Vilnius. and that’s not it. There were many more episodes.

google it. you will read many interesting bloody moments in the life of this named “peacemaker”.

and let’s not forget Gorbachev’s support for Russia’s current takeover of Crimea and his endorsement of Russia’s takeover policy.
my grandfather taught me: always bypass the snake side. but if you accidentally harm her, then never let her live. otherwise this snake will sit in its hole, restore its health and return to kill you. And so it happened.
when the USSR almost died, society took pity on it and did not finish what it started. did not conduct lustration. did not name the executioners. Did not rip off their awards. and now, the bloody empire has rested in its hole and now mercilessly kills those who took pity on it. the snake has become smarter and meaner. the snake came out to kill.

and on Gorbachev’s death today I have not words of regret, but a wish:
bloody man! Take your bloody empire with you to the underworld.

as visualization:
Good Bye Gorbachev, From the Patrick Chappatte’s archives, December 1991.

take care of yourself! Peace for everyone!

Reading old blog posts…

I just read one of my old blog posts about 2020, adventures with the church, the pastor stepping down, etc. Oh how I would’ve done things differently then if I’d had the knowledge then that I have now! 🙂 Isn’t that what we always say, though?

God’s been good through it all, regardless. And I’m glad to see His hand working in the midst of all of this pain. I did my best then, I’ll continue to do that today, and all of my regrets or disappointments are covered by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He’s our only hope when we really come down to it.

Pictures from our trip to America

We had about half a day in Prague before our flight to California
We’re basically pro’s at flying now, though I still can’t sleep on those seats that don’t recline more than 2 degrees!
The CGN International conference was very encouraging
I (David) got to lead worship at the morning prayer meetings a cappella while Wayne Taylor led prayer
A mall in Ukraine where our friends buy groceries was bombed… That was really hard to hear while we were at the CGN conference
Sharing with folks about our mission and ministry at the conference – I’m so proud of how articulate Katya is!
We had a great time at our friend’s church in Sacramento
Our friends from Sacramento
They organized two missions dinners for us – one with friends, and the other with the missions committee of their church
The missions committee was very welcoming and encouraging
Hanging out with Ukrainian refugees in Sacramento
Sharing at at church in Iowa
Hanging out with our friends from Iowa
Sharing at a church in Kansas
We got to go to Calvary Chapel Wichita’s baptism that Sunday – we love to see new people committing their lives to Christ!
Sharing with the youth group at CC Wichita
Hanging out with my mom and stepdad in Texas
Katya and my mom praying with the other women before service at my mom’s church
Hiking with Katya in Tennessee
Hiking with my dad (and Katya, not pictured) in Tennessee
Playing a version of “Sorry” with my dad and stepmom in Tennessee
The Ukrainian Festival in Cleveland
We briefly visited CC Cleveland and met Mike Bucher, “the fastest CC pastor in the world” (look him up on YouTube if you want to know what that means!)
We LOVED sitting under Jordan McGhaughey’s teaching in Indianapolis – he’s the new pastor at HCF, my sending church. Jordan and I went to Bible college together, and I’m very excited to see how God will continue to use him there. We love you, Jordan!
Prayer meeting at HCF
Hanging out with friends at a missions open house in Indianapolis
Hanging out with friends in Indy
Early morning in Prague on the way back

Though our trip to America was short, it was a big blessing to see so many friends and family. I know that we weren’t able to see everyone – if we didn’t see you, let’s try to hang out next time if possible!

If you would like to contact us to see if we can come to your church next time, please click here. If you would like to support what we do, please click here for more information on how.