Online Studies Without the Internet?
There are big challenges ahead after Russia has significantly damaged civilian infrastructure
Dear UBI partners,
Today the Ukrainian Bible Institute returned from a one-week fall break and began its second term. For the next three weeks, our students will be studying Romans with Sasha Maliuga and Historical Christian Evidences with Jay Don Rogers.
The last two months of online classes have been good, and we have gotten into a good routine. Our second-year students have been glad to be back in the classroom, and our new students have expressed such sincere appreciation for their studies.
Last month we welcomed Ben Williams, a preacher from Ada, Oklahoma, to teach the book of Isaiah. It was Ben’s first time teaching at UBI, and he shared these words with me after his class:
Teaching the book of Isaiah for UBI may have been the best thing I've done all year. Whether or not the students learned anything—and I hope they did—I learned a ton. Isaiah came to life for me as I got to see it through the fresh eyes of the Ukrainian students. All of the students were eager, knowledgeable, and appreciative. I am already looking forward to whatever class Brandon assigns me next!
We are so thankful for teachers like Ben who join us dark and early from the States in order to join our students during their early afternoon.
Attacks On Civilian Infrastructure
However, over recent weeks, Russia's hard attacks on civilian infrastructure has taken a severe toll on Ukraine. Power stations around the country have been destroyed and have accompanied a loss of access to water and disruptions to mobile phone service. Just this morning, Russia unleashed a wave of attacks on the capital which has left 80% of the city without water. As winter approaches and the temperature steadily drops, these are very serious problems.
Because UBI is currently operating online, these attacks also mean we must be prepared for a disruption in our classes as well. This morning during our chapel time we discussed several contingency plans in case of sudden losses of power or connectivity. From making audio recordings which can be more easily shared to watching pre-recorded classes from years past, we have backup plans. And now we pray we won't need to use them.
These are difficult times, but our students rise to meet the challenges. I never cease to be amazed by the resiliency and the ability to withstand hard times that Ukrainians have. As I said in a recent sermon, when you combine the resilience of a Ukrainian with the hope of a Christian, God does powerful things.
As always, we sincerely thank you for your unwavering support. Your help has always been important, but this year it has been vital. In our next newsletter I will share another update about our staff. Who are they, where are they, and what are they doing these days?