Neither Diana nor I had ever done any work with orphans before moving to Russia. We had once, however, begun the process of adopting a child from the Ukraine after Lydia was born. But then when Kerith came along much sooner than expected, we abandoned that project (perhaps for another day?). We had both worked with kids. In addition to both of us having experience in camp counseling,
- taught ESL for kids in the USSR and in the States
- taught delinquent teens at an alternative school in Oregon
- taught emotionally disturbed kids in Richmond
- taught in the public schools for several years and online for 7 years and counting
We had each had our own ministry in Richmond, I leading a citywide ministry, and she teaching homeschooled kids through The Potter’s School. What we wanted was to find an area where we were both interested. Orphan work was that place that brought tears to both our eyes when we considered the plight of these kids.
Even now we don’t completely see how we fit together in this ministry, but the pieces are beginning to come together. Our work with Yuri and other kids from the Harbor is one example of direct ministry, but I see it evolving over time as we let God use our respective gifts in complementary ways for His glory.