A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM DR. VITALIY SOROKUN
At 5 a.m. sharp on February 24 we woke up to the new reality – the sound of exploding
rockets, destruction, and loss. Our lives were uprooted in a moment, and we have not been able to return to the old “normal.” Perhaps, we never will. After a week in the church basement and making sure all our international students left the country safe, Anna and I made a decision to move to
western Ukraine. A month later, we moved Anna to the USA; I followed her in the middle of the summer. Even though we are grateful for the provision of safety and generosity of people in the USA, our hearts are longing to return home. Yet, in the midst of tragedy, we have experienced God like never before. It is privilege to serve the omnipotent Savior!
The picture below is New Hope Church, where he pastors. Thankfully, only minimal damage as of Dec. 22, 2022.
BMI – Served as a BRIDGE OF HOPE During this War
With the war raging in Ukraine, many churches and individuals in the USA have responded by sending relief support to churches in Ukraine through BMI. Their generous support allowed churches in Kharkiv and its surrounding region to provide humanitarian relief, food packages, medical supplies as well as to host people in basements as they sought shelter from bombs. During the most difficult months of the war their unprecedented generosity provided for meals and aid for hundreds of hurting people on a daily basis. (BMI is not primarily a humanitarian ministry, but with our over 30 years of connections into Ukraine, coupled with Dr. Vitaliy’s broad influence in the region, we have served as such to help the pastors feed their flocks.)
MENTORING RELATIONSHIPS: Moving full speed to make a difference in Africa
The war gave a new incentive to ministry. When the window of opportunity to be involved in mentorship closed in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, Vitaliy focused his efforts on developing BMI mentorship movements in Africa. He began to mentor four African Christian leaders to prepare them for a responsible role as BMI Africa Ministry Partners. Vitaliy has been intentionally
investing his time and experience in Kioko Mwangangi, Lincoln Chirochierwa, Pascal Ndagijimana, and Joshua Magwesela. These wonderful men are now ready to launch and lead sustainable national mentorship multiplication movements in 8 countries of the continent: Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Congo. Together we are
ready for the exciting task ahead! (Pictured here, Dr. Sorokun with Dr. Lincoln and Dr. Stephen Mwatha.)
Vitaliy has also continued to oversee the ministry taking place in Belarus and Russia. Even though for security reasons communication is not as easy as before the war, we are still actively involved in leadership development there.
Vitaliy has also been helping BMI Women’s Ministry Director Nadya Morokhvets in leading the training and discipleship of women. Nadya, herself a refugee, has been used by the Lord in ways never seen before. Our Father in Heaven has been opening amazing doors of opportunity for Nadya to mentor, train and serve women far beyond Ukraine – Hungary, Albania, and
Uzbekistan among many others.
SEVEN STEPS TRAINING and ENCOUNTERING CHRIST conferences
Even though the war prevented Vitaliy from actively teaching Seven Steps of Christian Living and Encountering Christ in Ukraine, we still use them extensively in Russia and Belarus. Our Russia Director Sergey Naboichenko and Belarus Ministry Partner Sergey Drozd have been traveling extensively, training numerous Christian leaders in conferences and in Minsk Theological Seminary, where these courses have become core courses for pastoral preparation.
Vitaliy has also released our new African ministry partners to train these courses in their regions. What a joy it was to receive their updates and see God open new opportunities for them! BTMP still taught in Ukraine!
For five consecutive years Vitaliy taught BTMP in Irpin Bible Seminary, a leading pastor training school in the Baptist Union of Ukraine. Even though the building of the seminary was dramatically damaged during the war, the brave staff has not given up hope. All the major programs have been resumed in the online format, including BTMP! Indeed, we are grateful for the gift of technology to be able to teach and learn from all over the world.
Irpin Biblical Seminary pictured above – same steps (present and past)
Even though the war is still raging in Ukraine, Vitaliy looks forward to the future with great anticipation. BMI is developing sustainable national mentorship movements in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Vietnam, Nepal, in South East Asia, in Africa, and Latin America. We have over 30 countries where we are currently serving leaders of have a door of opportunity to serve. It is a joy to oversee our ministry and to partner with wonderful talented leaders who share the vision of multiplying mentors!