How ‘mi doin’?

Taking ispiration from Mayor Ed Koch, I thought I’d review my progress on attaining my 2008 goals, which I posted here last December. I do this as a matter of accountability to all of you who support us in prayer and financially.

In this month’s newsletter, I mentioned my hopes for producing a multiplying deiscipleship process to empower high-impact leaders with a broad base of discipleship skills, including counseling, coaching, and spiritual formation. This falls right in line with what I wrote last year – to “start immediately duplicating the knowledge God has given me by investing in others who can teach the class [Biblical Problem Solving] and grow into trainers of trainers themselves.”

Not only did this happen when Ilya started teaching the class, …

“My January, therefore, may be dedicated in part to working in parallel with one of my students to teach this class there [at a mission training school nearby].”

…, but I have also started counseling two other couples with leadership potential. The vision has expanded beyond counseling, however, and coach training will be coming in 2009. I am currently under mentorin by my team member, Bill O’Byrne, in spiritual formation, and I hope to be able to mentor others by next year.

“I have a list of pastors and other Christian leaders, including Orthodox, I want to meet and listen to next year to find out where the needs are and where I might find other open doors.”

I had significant first-time meetings with at least 4 pastors and 3 missions leaders. I had one other good meeting with an Orthodox priest who is active in ecumenical relations. I am praying for more key contacts with Orthodox leaders in 2009. My goal is at least 12 new relationships with church leaders, and at least 6 new ministry leaders.

I hoped to expand my work at the Harbor in 2008, and God granted relationships with Yuri, which grew throughout the year (and continues), and with Nastya, a former program participant, whom I coached for a few months. Additionally, I began coaching staff members at the Harbor. The one I am currently working with, Sergei, sees the vision I had last year of:

“exploring both how coaching might be used for the whole staff and for how it could be used for the program participants themselves.”

Not only is Sergei beginning to use principles from what we do together with Harbor residents, he is very interested in getting coach training himself. We are tentatively looking at starting a 15 week program in March if God grants a group of interested participants.

“Outside the Harbor, I feel the need to do some research into the other ministries and secular entities serving the orphans and street kids. The street kid problem is radically different from even a year ago, as it appears that the government has actually done something good for a change and established homes for them based on a European model that works fairly well. I need to know more.”

I did some initial research, which I reported in my April ’08 newsletter. Beyond this, I sent out a call to the missions community here and to my supporters at home. The result: 4 people here interested in helping (one soon left the field), and none to help long distance. I decided that there wasn’t much need, or that God didn’t have that as a priority for me for the time being.

“Barely 100 paces from our house is an orphanage for school-aged children. I intend to find a way to meet the leadership there and begin serving, to include bringing at least Diana and Lydia along over time.”

Barely a week after I posted this, God supernaturally opened the doors to ministry there, and the rest is history. One hope I have for 2009 that I did not write about in my December newsletter is to get access to at least one family associated with that orphanage who would like to reunite with their child and to work with the family as a pilot project for what could be developed further. The main obstacle from my vantage point now is that such families almost don’t exist from what I hear. They are NOT motivated to get their kids back! I hope this is not true.

My biggest disapointment of the year was the work with a Christian businesswoman that did not come to fruition.

“My aim is to see her company (her mission, really) have deeper penetration into the secular business community. The possibilities are tremendous.”

After talking about these possibilities for some time, Colleen did not feel that God was leading her in the direction of a partnership. Perhaps God has another such partnership planned for me. Trouble is, I don’t know of any others at this point. I pray He will show me.

All in all, I’d say God gave grace to more than surpass these goals. Makes me excited about 2009.


2 thoughts on “How ‘mi doin’?

  1. Greetings! I’m a missionary in St. Petersburg as well. I’m familiar with the Harbor and Colleen, and I have a lot of the same goals, specifically trying to encourage more Russian Christians to take in orphans. Nice to meet you here.

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