Through my work at MIR that I have often written about, I got to know a ministry out of England called Love Russia. Their heads, Alex and Jacqui Cooke, have been a real blessing to us in St. Petersburg through MIR, and more recently to our family. I’ll tell you how.
Most of their work is about providing funds for specific purchases or physical projects at orphanages and other orphan related nonprofits or ministries. They are Christian, but often don’t accent that in order to build relationships and favor. They had been working in the Ryazan region, south of Moscow for many years, but with the political climate changing, they have moved a lot of their emphasis to St. Petersburg, and our work here to orphans is the benificiary of their change. They don’t have permanant staff on the ground, but rather come in periodically to find new projects to invest in, and to follow up on old ones. As such, MIR is a good partner organization, as it has the capacity to funnel funds, to build relationshiops with orphanage leadership, and to organize events and projects.
Our current project is a summer camp for orphans in foster care that MIR has organized for them, to take place in August in Estonia. ABout 50 Russian-speaking kids from Russia, as well as as many or more from Estonia and even Israel will be participating. Since Estonia is much more open to Christian ministry, the camp will be much more openly Christ-centered and evangelistic.
So what Love Russia does most of the time is raise funds for all these various projects, and hence the major bike trip that they organized recently, taking them from England, across Europe, all the way to Moscow. When the British Consulate here in St. Petersburg heard about it, they invited them and those associated with them to a tea at their consulate. The TV spot below takes place there, and you can see me in the yellow shirt. I’d never been but was impressed with the joint. It’s like a little England in the midst of the city – clean, with English country gardens. The title of the spot, by the way, is “English bikers drink tea in Petersburg.”
Other pics from facebook on the event are here.