Our leader who is called to step into pro-life ministry here in St. Petersburg is Anastasia (aka Nastya) Tikhonova. This post describes
how this project got started. Nastya came over to the US during part of my time and met with a number of ministry leaders in post-abortion work and from multiple Pregnancy Resource Centers. The director of the PRC in Albemarle, NC was so gracious and excited for us that she offered to “adopt” us to help us find recourses, relationships, and navigate the pro-life world.
As it stands, Nastya is poised to begin this work in earnest once she can leave her work. I have asked her about what she could do while working full time, but, as I expected, this is actually not nearly as feasible as it might be for someone in the US owing to a number of factors related to life here. Of course she does what she can in terms of research, prayer, and gathering materials and building relationships in the meantime. For example, we need to clarify exactly what our offering is to the public, make a clear and compelling presentation, and make a list of pastors to visit once she can start.
We envision the project in multiple phases:
- Nastya (and perhaps one or two others) start as the core, with a focus on serving women post-abortively. This has the advantage of allowing us to start building on our existing strengths – which in this case is the experience Nastya and others on our team have in ministering to people with difficult emotional/spiritual issues. A second advantage is that this will allow us through ministering to these women slowly build a team of those God is calling to join the effort. Women (eventually men, who also suffer after abortion) will come to us for ministry (one-on-one, Bible studies, and retreats) having heard about us through informational meetings, seminars, and conferences where Nastya will give talks and presentations about abortion and the ministry.
- At some point, this emerging team will be able to have its own space (rented) for limited ministry purposes. They will be able to offer some of the services a PRC offers.
- Eventually, either through grants or through operating a for-profit medical center (which I think may be more likely under the present political climate that is extremely hostile towards non-profits), the team will be able to offer a full spectrum of services, likely extending beyond typical PRC work.
We are compiling information on the other ministries who are in any way involved in pro-life and post-abortion ministry. I can say for now that the number at one time (as will all missions and ministry work in Russia in the 1990’s) was large and thriving. Now there is hardly anyone in this field, and none at all in the area of post-abortion ministry. And this in the face of abortion statistics that are the worst in the world (though there have been some positive developments of late).
As to budget, we have one worked up with all the line items for Nastya personally, ministry and administrative expenses. In a word, we are talking about a total inclusive budget of $29,000 for a year. Nastya plans to start immediately after getting initial funding to obtain local sponsorships, with a first benchmark goal of 30%, moving to 100% over ten years. Donations online or by draft can be made here.