This video was made in 2013, but it is applicable in most respects, except that we are no longer raising money for Nastya, who has married and lives elsewhere. What remains true is that God has expanded our ministry and reach, and so with this expansion comes the need for more resources to make it all happen.
Specifically, we need $1000/month in new giving, and I am happy to say that on my recent trip to VA about half of this amount has been pledged. I also have a more God-sized goal of raising $100,000 in one-time giving to increase the size of our team. To help with this goal, you can click here.It surprises many to learn that we have relatively little church support (6 congregations total). About 80% of our budget is provided by individuals who give regularly to the ministry.
Since moving to Russia in 2007, I have used my background in coaching and counseling to invest in the transformation of people the Lord brought across my path. This has included city leaders, orphans, Christians, people of other faiths, and people with no faith at all. I have trained many people in counseling, prayer ministry, biblical peacemaking, team building, all the while building relationships and trust among these groups of people. By 2012, a core group of 25 people had seen enough personal change in their lives that they now feel led to serve. God has been really good, f
or these peoples’ stories are of amazing and life-altering change.
This group of 25 people has understandably narrowed over time to about 6 most committed. They invest in the personal growth of their team members and in the development of the group as a ministry to serve others in their own communities. And around these 6 are another half dozen who are serving as volunteers at some level. Several others serve as teachers/trainers, and others come for training or ministry of various kinds associated with our other ministries to the community. The main such ministry is called Master Classes over Tea.
The blessing of receiving our ministry facility (which is actually an extension of our own living space, but separate) has been one of the biggest miracles of our time in Russia. Our new ministry space was immediately put to good use, and it has increased our ministry activity dramatically. By American standards, Russians are very poor, and can’t afford any luxuries at all. As such, it has been especially amazing to see the Russians give what little they have to help us offset the costs of the ministry space. They understand as well as we do the importance of have a safe place to minister to God’s people.
The ministry center includes a private office where we offer counseling, and a large common living area used to conduct trainings, hold meetings, and to allow for fellowship. There is also a separate kitchen, a critical need in the Russian culture for relationship building. From the beginning we have always held faith that the Lord will provide the funds we need to operate our ministry center from its own activities here.
Additionally, we have one-time needs of about $2000 for equipping the apartment/center so that it functions at full capacity and as a welcoming atmosphere for the transformational ministry that touches people so deeply.
Note: if you wish to increase your current monthly contribution, then you may do so through the above link. It will offer you the chance to mark it as a change (rather than an addition).