New Reality, New Opportunities
Update: Covid-19 Ukraine – March 2020
By: Dr. Vitaly Sorokun, BMI Regional Director Eastern Europe and Former Soviet States
The normal life has been put on hold. Over past decades my country – Ukraine – has been through a lot of life changing periods. We lived through the Perestroyka. We lived through the collapse of the USSR. We survived the dark years of anxiety when the newly emerged sovereign Ukraine was developing its economy and geopolitical vectors. We lived through the Orange revolution, two ‘Maidans,’ the Revolution of Dignity which ousted the corrupt president. We’ve have been at war with Russia for 6 unending years. We’ve been through many states of emergency.
But, nothing has been quite like this new reality – the presence of the invisible enemy COVID-19, which threatens your life at times and in places you expect the least. In response to the virus, the government has closed educational institutions, shut the country’s borders, banned foreign and domestic travel, outlawed congregations over 10 people and keeps imposing greater restrictions daily.
As a body of Christ we are firm in our conviction that God is sovereign, that He is in control. And we have to adapt to the new challenges.
Our church – New Hope International, which unites people from over 20 countries of the world – is going online. We had to cancel all physical services and groups. As of this Sunday, we are going to live stream a shortened version on the church service. We are already conducting all leadership meetings over the Internet. Our home groups, and our men’s and women’s Bible studies are now on-line. We are having to learn as we go.
We do not lose heart. In fact, going online creates wonderful new possibilities for us: we can reach out to more new people who were hard to reach physically. We can reconnect to our former members who are now scattered all over the world. And we can actually start something innovative – train Christian leaders and mentor our disciples using digital means!
Dr. Sorokun Continues His Mentorship Online:
More from Vitaly:
“I ran a one hour zoom meeting with Dr. Mike from Mombasa, Kenya. Mike needed assistance with digitally streaming his church services, and I had an opportunity to help him, while also investing on behalf of BMI.”
“During the lockdown we, as Christian leaders, have a chance to intentionally invest into relationships and to mentor our disciples with precision. I have begun to mentor a long time graduate of my church who was one of my disciples and leaders at my church when he studied in Kharkov. Lincoln is now a doctor, and lives in Malawi. We meet once a week and are going through the BMI Encountering Christ.”
“Today I had a Google Duo mentoring meeting with another of my disciples from Angola – Elvis. Elvis is 25 and is an international student in Kharkov. He is going to be a tremendous Christian leader. We started Encountering Christ today!”