Russian is not hurting in the grand scheme of things as far as having access to a lot of good Christian literature. My problem is that much of what I see as critical for effective ministry here is not available. Part of the reason is that much of what I use in my discipleship and training of Russians here is fairly new, but also because I’m intentionally trying to fill gaps in ministry where I perceive the opportunity for high leverage tools for change.
The biggest current translation project is finalizing all of our coach training material for our strategic partner, Lifeforming Leadership Coaching. My local partner is Igor Sokolov, whom I met while we were both being trained by Lifeforming in 2006. Igor is a strategic leader in St. Petersburg and well beyond, with contacts and favor across nearly all denominational lines. Igor was given free tuition in exchange for a promise to translate the material (a vast notebook of several hundred pages plus numerous audio files) for use in Russia.
By the time we moved here in 2007, Igor had finished most of the work, but final details, edits, and getting it into a professional form hung over his head, and God used me to re-energize the process. Together in the fall of 2009 we led a group of pastors, missionaries, businessmen, and Harbor staff in the 1st third of Lifeforming’s year-long certification process. The response has been more enthusiastic than we even expected, with most of the participants asking if they can continue the training.
We realized we needed to get more serious and systematic about our work, so we invited some of the participants to form a steering committee to the end of making a long-term strategy. Simultaneously, we entered into negotiations with the largest Christian school here, St. Petersburg Christian University. Their interest was also well beyond our expectations. We are looking at both offering our training under their official umbrella, as well as partnering with them to embed coaching training into their new Masters of Practical Theology and Leadership.
And then comes the question of money. We estimated that we still need about $5000 to finish all our work to get the material to a professional level. Through my contacts in Richmond, VA (where we moved from), God gave our project favor with a local foundation which has just given us $2000 to this end. This is exciting news, helping to confirm that God is pleased with this work to raise of transformational leaders across Russia who not only know the Word, but know how to incarnationally come alongside others to help draw out their God-given calling and potential.
For more information about other translation needs, click here.