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, both of which she obtained through Novo Russia. She also has led seminars and trainings such as How to Hear God’s Voice and Local Houses of Prayer, and she facilitates Novo’s core mission training program “All for One.” 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.”
Zhenya Yelkina comes to Novo with a background in entrepreneurship, having started a number of her own successful businesses in her few years since finishing college. Zhenya is gifted as a teacher and communicator as well, and she wants to bring these three gift sets together to serve Novo’s expansion across the former Soviet Union. She serves alongside Sveta in co-leading their intercessory team, and they prioritize intercession for Russia as a daily habit.
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.