Ukraine Church Dedicates New Building After Devastating Fire
After a devastating 2010 fire that destroyed its entire building, the congregation of Central Baptist Church in Dnipropetros'k, Ukraine faced the daunting task of rebuilding without the help of insurance.
Video of the fire can be seen here.
On Oct. 21, 2010, not long after the end of the evening church service, fire broke out as only a few people were left in the building. The handful of people remaining were able to remove some equipment and benches before evacuating.
According to published media reports, the church's pastor said the fire spread quickly and firefighters fought hard to bring the fire under control.
Despite the fire crews' best efforts and heavy duty fire fighting equipment, after approximately 2 hours of burning, the slate roof collapsed into the main worship hall, which seated 1500.
With the cause still under investigation, the several hundred member congregation met in what was left of the church's basement and began finding ways to sacrifice to fund the cost of renovation.
Along the way, people from across the United States and Europe contributed money to their efforts.
Through its sponsors, MIWC contributed funds for the reconstruction of some of the music ministry's infrastructure, such as purchasing new computer and office equipment.
Finally, on Oct. 21, 2012 - exactly two years after the destruction - Central Baptist Church celebrated with the rededication of the finished church hall. MIWC President Steve Benham was in Ukraine at the time and honored to be a part of the reopening celebration.
"It was an incredibly inspiring experience to see the faithfulness and sacrificial spirit of the local church members, who met for two years in the church basement while rebuilding their sanctuary, " Benham said.
"The opening service was a time of an outpouring of gratitude to God for what He had done and a call for the church to use this opportunity to reach its city for Jesus."
Also performing in the ceremony were people who had never studied as part of MIWC's ministry before. These young musicians had a chance to talk and plan with MIWC about the development of regional orchestras across Ukraine in the future.
A large and very active church, Central Baptist has been a center of ministry in the Dnipropetros'k province and hosted a conference attended by MIWC before the fire in 2009.
The exact cause of the fire is still unknown.
For more on the church's journey to rebuild, read this local story.
Use Google Translate for an English translation.