Sveta Alekseeva is one of those rare finds you never want to lose. I needed some administrative help several years ago, and asked one person at church if she knew anyone. That one person turned out to be the right person to ask, because Sveta has never let me down. After working for me part time for a year then, she left because I could not pay her full-time. Three years later, it all came back together again, and she is now with us full-time. For a season she organized and promoted our Master Classes over Tea. These were a series of evening seminars on a different topic every week, designed to meet new people and introduce them to our ministry and how they can plug in a grow with us more.
Sveta has been through every training I have offered. As a result of her hard work and dedication, she is one of my top prayer counselors. She is a professionally certified life coach. She teaches our course on how to hear God’s Voice, and she has led our flagship course that I have written on Becoming the Body. She is doing a beautiful job at everything. I only wish I could pay her what she deserves. She is an economist by profession, and she took a big pay cut to come work for me, but she doesn’t regret it a bit. Sveta is now working to raise her own financial support. To help us support and keep Sveta, click here. Just mark your donation “for Sveta.”
Oyuna Ochirova has grown by leaps and bounds since starting our courses in 2016. With a background in management and marketing, she is eager to help us expose our courses to as many people as possible. She is also leads one of our courses. Oyuna prays a matter through until she gets God’s vision, and then makes it happen. She is starting a new project to take our basic training, Real Talk to teenagers online, with a goal to raise up a cadre of teen leaders to teach and lead others. This project will provide a small portion of her income, but she wants to serve full time with us.
Ilya Smirnitsky is our new youth leader – without any youth – yet! We’ve invited Ilya on board to help us plan for and recruit young people to participate in a summer youth camp we organized for 2017. He was also a key player in our project to reach a group of unchurched college students. His vision is to start a sports ministry on the basis of the ministry model we are developing here. Read more about Ilya here. Ilya is also working to raise his own support, and so you can help us keep him on our team here. Just mark your donation “for Ilya.”
Olga Bondareva has been around our family since almost the beginning. She is both a fantastic piano player and teacher for our children (now just Simon). She started taking my courses in 2016, and has been so impacted by them that she now leads one of our group trainings. She has a natural gift for teaching and leadership. Alas, she has to supplement her piano teaching, and I’d like to hire her to fill the gap. Olga heads our Strategic Development Team, and as such her focus is on finding creative ways to get expand our reach across the largest country in the world, where most people are too isolated to travel for training.
Vova Kasko was in our trainings from the earliest days of our ministry in Russia, and showed great potential from the beginning. Through a long process of growth and maturity, Vova has come to the place of serving our team now as a sort of in house pastor, heading our Care and Oversight Team, which is responsible for ensuring the emotional and spiritual health and productivity of all the members of our team. He provides a stabilizing influence, deep understanding of each person, and wisdom in the midst of difficult team discussions. Vova has recently come to the place of sensing God’s call for him to join our ministry full time, should the Lord provide. Click here to help out.
Anna Shlykova has been studying with us for a year now, but her background is much richer. As a social worker, Anna served in a ministry working with children and families at risk and in crisis. Her gifts are in counseling, teaching, and she is writing a leader’s guide for my curriculum more. Anna only serves part of the year with us, as she has married a South African. They now plan to come to serve in Russia together with us for a few months a year.