Anna is a relatively new, but wonderful addition to our team. With a background in social work and orphan ministry, she brought the right heart to our ministry. Add to it a hunger for growth in “relevant” but biblical Christianity, we just had to partner up. Here is her story.
I came to St. Petersburg from Perm 5 years ago. I know for sure that God led me in this choice! If I had no confirmation from God, I would not have decided to move. Everything started wonderfully: I was getting into a business/ministry, a network of outlets across Russia, in St. Petersburg, the head office in Samara. Two months later I realized that everything was falling apart: the business did not bring income, and the team was not forming as I expected. God helped to leave cleanly and calmly. We all divided the losses equally. Preserving the relationships was more important, for which I am very grateful to the team!
At that difficult time, I prayed a lot and looked for answers from God! How did He allow this? What does He want from me? How should I continue to move, how to serve? If business is not my call, then where do I go next? What was I to do with my fatigue from failure and defeat? “If You, God, brought me here, then show me where to go and what to do, what to do?”
And God did not hesitate to show His faithfulness! Answers began to come one after another. Then for the next two years, with a good income and a stable salary, I was able to restore strength and health and come into balance with myself and with God! It is very important for any minister to be able to restore strength. To give is my essence, I am a “giver” by nature. Here I plunged into God’s love with all my strength! I just went to church meetings, enjoyed my word, and enjoyed studying the beautiful city! I went to the Mariinsky Theater and the Conservatory 3-4 times a month! In general, I learned to enjoy life! I felt that I was ALIVE, and I wanted to share this joy!
All this time I became a volunteer in a nonprofit and in the summer for a week went to the Christian sports camp. That was not enough! Too much joy remained, I would say now! But then I became bored with this measured life and, most importantly, I had no answer to the question: “What is my place? God, is this my destiny?” The Lord answered as quickly as he did three years ago.
Where to go to work further? – I did not even ask this question, I just waited for an answer from God. Once he brought himself, and will lead further! And it happened! After ONE week I already had an interview to be a social worker where I was a volunteer in a new project: helping women with children in crisis. This is the work on the prevention of social orphanhood: helping our mothers, we helped children, so that they were not taken to an orphanage due to the unfavorable situation in the family.
Thus, the joy migrated to my wards moms! To that I was very glad! A wonderful place for the minister: to do good, and even get money and food! I realized that women need support and care about their state of mind.
While looking for some professional development training, I came across the courses by Lyle Thomas. And here I understood, though not at once, that my quest was done, that I want to study only THIS! To be in the center of God’s work to be the vehicle of His love and observe the action of His glory! At the first meeting with Lyle, I realized that there was something very important here for me, what I was looking for, but I had not found it in my church, in the children’s ministry, in worship, or in serving women.
Strange, but all this time I followed my feelings! God kept me and guided me all this time and showed me His faithfulness, even if I doubted and was not faithful. It is very difficult to be faithful without like-minded people! And I found them in the group with which I took the course! Religious dogmas have disappeared, the power of God has been released, which can work in every one of God’s children only when he or she is in the body of Christ!
I’m sure this is only the beginning! This summer, we held the first retreat with the team, where we worked through difficult questions and overcame our personality differences! We really complemented each other! NO HYPOCRISY! This is the most important thing I have gained in my 13-year-old Christian life! My own sons, 29 and 24 years old, saw the deep changes within me, and our communication is so much better, which is very important for me now, because I had been formed in the context of hyper religiosity.
Yes, one more answer from God: he gave me a man to whom I am engaged who can serve with me, love people with me, give joy to people and to me! I could not have expected the better partner! I did not want to be alone in my old age. I tried to solve this problem on my own. And once again I was convinced that all answers and all decisions are with Him – with our HEAVENLY FATHER! Thank you, DAD, for such a magnificent gift!