In the publishing business

I’d like to share some more details about all the translation work that we have been doing so that you can get an idea of yet another dimension of our work in Russia. It’s not like there is a shortage of translation work going on, but as it pertains to the Christian world of publishing, what gets translated is almost always that which will sell well, which means big authors. And of course some of those authors are good, but popular books are almost by definition light on depth. Moreover, since my focus is always about how people change in the context of relationship, I care about finding good material that is built on mentoring and/or the value of change in community as “iron sharpens iron.”

In each of our three main areas, we have:

Body: Practical mentoring. There are other forms of practical mentoring, but I have used the excellent resources of Lifeforming Leadership Coaching, where I am a certified coach and coach trainer. This has been a MAJOR project that my partner Igor Sokolov started just before we moved to Russia in 2007, but I took over at that time. With hundreds of pages of printed material and scores of hours of audio training, it has cost several thousands of dollars in translating, editing, and formatting, and we expect to finish this year.

But while we worked on it, we have still been training. About 20 have trained and progressed through some portion of the training, and just this spring we certified our first two life coaches (it’s about 40 weeks of material) – Inna and Roman (formerly Rustam). Roman is now taking over training while I am in the US. Of course I take no small joy in seeing them raised to this level of leadership and in the fact that I can now move on to other projects.

Another resource we have translated and use is the basic seminar from Peacemaker Ministries on biblical conflict resolution. We have used this material in work with our core leaders group to help them find both a scriptural basis for and practical direction in dealing with conflict. With our current emphasis on building community and team, we couldn’t get by without it!

Soul Care. I am a big fan of the Bible as our greatest source for discerning the heart and giving us direction in all areas of life. So on the basis of training I got at the Christian Counseling and Training Center in Richmond I have translated their foundational course “Biblical Problem Solving.” I recently took Roman through this material one-on-one so that he could begin to teach it, and he is now leading a class, and early feedback is excellent!

The other resource we use is Theophostic Prayer Ministry. The key factor here is the use of prayer to help invite the Lord to speak truth to lies that we have bought into. It is a tremendous complement to Biblical counseling, and Inna and Roman also lead classes in this – training that takes a full year to master. The material was also a huge project of nearly 300 pages of a hefty manual. But the fruit is tremendous. We have scores of testimonies of radical transformation, healing, and healed relationships. Our team hosted the founder, Ed Smith, last year in a national conference that brought in fledgling groups from around the former USSR for the first training of its kind in Russian.

Spiritual Formation.  The aim here is to help people grow in intimacy with Christ over a lifetime – not just in the initial phases of our Christian walk. Although we have used other materials, we have had to translate most of what we needed in this area, and the key course was called “Communion with God” by Mark Virkler, which teaches very clearly with amazing biblical insights what it looks and feels like to sense the voice of God (and how to distinguish it from other voices). This course was revolutionary in my own walk, and others have also found it transformational.  We have translated the text and DVD material for this and eight other classes of his.

I am speaking in various churches and homes over the next few months about our ministry. If you have access to the internet, look for us at www.facebook.com/OrphanDreams or our blog at www.orphan-dreams.com. If not, don’t be shy about calling us at 804-550-2121 to find out where we are and arrange a time and place to meet. We’d love to see all of you!

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