On April 16, a fire broke out at the
Ukraine Baptist Training Center.
Although the fire department arrived within 20 minutes, the 2nd and 3rd
floors were completely destroyed.
This building contained the dorms, the large meeting room and
classrooms. The shell
(brick walls) of the 2nd and 3rd floors must be completely torn down and
rebuilt. The adjoining 2 story
building that contained the original kitchen, dining area and office was
spared from damage. At the time,
there were 5 students staying at the center but thankfully, everyone was
attending a wedding and no one was hurt.
On May 3-8, Tim Bender, representing
SBCD and the Kentucky Baptist Convention, and Tex Winsome*, the
International Mission Board missionary responsible for mission work in
Russia and Ukraine, visited the center to see the damage, and see how
Southern Baptists can help. Tim
and Tex spent a week with Oleg Stralkovskij (Deaf), the Director of the
Center. They gathered
information, took pictures and began to develop a plan to help rebuild the
center. It will cost
approximately $150,000 to rebuild the center.
Already, Deaf from Ukraine, Moldova,
Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic have collected about $2000 to help rebuild.
The Deaf from these countries are extremely poor, but they love the
Lord and feel very strongly that this center is vital to Deaf work in this
part of the world. This reminds
me of the churches in Macedonia in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5--even though they
were very poor, they begged Paul to accept their offerings to help other
During the next year, we will need
donations and volunteer construction teams.
To find out how you or your church can help, contact Tim Bender at
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tex Winsome* at TexWinsome@gmail.com.
Please continue to pray.
Pray that local authorities will give all the permits required to start the
rebuilding. Pray for one
neighbor who doesn't like the tall building being so close to her
house--pray that God would soften her heart and that the believers can be a
witness of God's love to her.
Pray for Oleg as he must work full time at his secular job to support his
family and also oversee the rebuilding of the center.
Pray for the local believers as they have been coming together to
help clean up and clear off the damaged center.
*Name changed for security purposes.