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. She worked as an economist before coming to serve full-time with Novo in 2014. She is an economist by profession, and she took a big pay cut to come work for us, but she doesn’t regret it a bit. Since then she has directed both the administrative side of the ministry and has simultaneously grown into various leadership roles for Novo. Sveta has been through every training I have offered. She is a professionally certified Christian life coach through Lifeforming Leadership Coaching, and she is a certified prayer minister through Transformation Prayer Ministry, for which she is lead trainer. She also has led seminars and trainings such as How to Hear God’s Voice and Local Houses of Prayer, as well as Novo Russia’s core mission training program “The King’s Table.” Gifted in personal ministry and passionate about prayer and worship, Sveta tirelessly serves numerous individuals at any one time and still has time to develop her own team of ministers and organize events and plan for strategic growth. Most of all, she loves the Lord Jesus and reserves over 20% of her time each week to seek Him and minister to Him alone. 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.
She does a beautiful job at everything. I only wish I could pay her what she deserves. 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.”
Marina Svetlorusova comes to Novo with a background in everything from administration, translation, and church planting. Eager to help get our training, in all its forms, to as wide an audience as possible, she now heads up our board game project, now in its final stages of development. She and her husband Alexei have been in ministry for many years, and we want to see them have many more years together serving the Lord. Right now, however, they are raising a beautiful daughter born in 2018.
Roman Novikov first got involved with our ministry in 2008. I even wrote about him way back when he was called Rustam. Roman is a brilliant thinker and counselor, and he loves to make charts and tables to explain his concepts, but he is in demand for his excellent insights and sensitive listening. Roman also loves to pray and worship, and he has a tremendous gift at hearing God’s voice, and he builds relationships easily with people far from God.
Olga (last name and photo withheld) has been deeply involved in our ministry for over ten years, but she joined formally only in 2021. Having come from a family with a great deal of trauma, she is an evangelist for our training Real Talk, because God has used it to so radically transform her life. She asked us to not publish her full name and photograph, because she is one of many in Russia today who are ostracized and criticized for being a Christian. Her family is nominally Orthodox, but anything that is not Russian is outright dangerous to such a mindset. Any known association with a Protestant ministry, much less one with an American at the head, would be trouble for her. Praise God for her willingness to follow Christ anyway!
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, and so now she is leading our project to bring our online training school to the Russian-speaking world. Oyuna is also very gifted in personal ministry, and so she is in high demand when we have counseling needs. Whatever she does, Oyuna prays a matter through until she gets God’s vision, and then makes it happen.
Ilya Smirnitsky is our new youth leader. 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 present ministry vision is to reach unchurched teens through Tik Tok. 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.”
Anna Venter began training with us in 2016, 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 our curriculum. She once wrote a testimony of her experience worth reading. Anna now lives in South Africa with her husband Jaco, but she is still is with us, and she still travels to Russia periodically to serve. She is helping Sveta lead the Transformation Prayer Ministry training.
Volodya Turin is has pastored the same church since 1995 in a community where everyone seems to know everyone, and much of the Christian community is related. Despite what have always been difficult interdenominational relationships among Churches in Russia, Volodya is well respected in his region, and he is the president of an association of churches. He first studied life coaching under me, but as soon as he found out what else our ministry was doing, he was eager to learn more. As a result, he is implementing our training for his entire congregation and seeing tremendous results. Now Volodya (pictured right with one of his three adopted daughters) joins our team to be an ambassador to other churches, and he will be the teacher-trainer for our video training material.
Anya Gandy also lives abroad – in the far country of Texas! Having served with her husband for several years with Novo in St. Petersburg, they have now relocated to the U.S. Anya, however, still remains in ministry with Novo, and helps our team with the translation and editing of the mounds of material we produce. And from a distance she provides leadership and coaching to the Harbor in Kursk, Russia, which is a ministry to orphans who have graduated out of the state system. More about Anya and how to support her here.