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. God has been really good, for these peoples’ stories are of amazing and life-altering change.
We now have a core team invested in the personal growth of others and in the development of the ministry as a whole. And around this core 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. Our complete 2020 ministry report is here. Since that time we have largely focused on building our online school which we call Novo Academy, which you can see (though it is in Russian) by clicking here. We formally launched the school in February on 2022.
In March of 2022 our family, along with most missionaries and other Americans in Russia, were forced to make the hard choice to leave Russia due to the war with Ukraine. As of now, we are still hoping for a resolution to the conflict that will allow us to return. Either way, this situation has added to our financial needs during this transition, which will only increase if we do have to relocate. We left almost all of our possessions (and our cats) behind in Russia. We are still paying rent on our apartment in the hopes that we can return. We need financial support, not only regular and committed giving, but also one-time contributions of between $10-15K to help us through this season. My (Lyle’s) entire income is from individuals (about 85%) and churches. Because all three of our three children are college students, our expenses keep going up. We need about an additional $1000 a month in regular giving. For all the above, give here.
Ministry-wise, my dream would be to fund a few more staff part or full time for a couple of years, so that we can both take advantage of some wonderful talent God has given us (where people are so strapped that their volunteer time is very limited), and so that we can get some more momentum going forward. Our online school has launched, and we want to make it self-sustaining over time. We charge for our courses, but we don’t nearly recoup our costs, and in the provinces, where we have started to travel to minister, they are almost completely without the ability to compensate us, even for material to any significant extent. It’s a pretty tough situation. The silver lining is that a full-time person costs only $400-600 a month under these difficult economic times during war. Two of the team members are now committed to working to raise their own support over the next couple of years largely from local Russian Christians. What we need to that end is one-time of about $15,000 to match their own efforts, which would step down over 2-3 years to give them to raise funds locally and allow other means, such as tuition and fees for services to fill in the gaps.
We also need about $10,000 to finish production of our board game, based on the life-changing content of our Real Talk training.
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).
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.