Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reaching To Russia - Mullets and Capris

What did I just say?  Did that get your attention?  I hope so.  There is an astounding amount of men with mullets wearing capris here in Novosibirsk.  It has been rather shocking to my system the first day we’ve been here.  I’ve been here a lot this past winter and spring so with fur hats on and long pants having been the norm, I am struggling to come to grips with all of this.  Somehow, I will press on.

Anyway, the Brownes landed safely in Novosibirsk yesterday morning after a not so direct Atlanta to Detroit to Frankfurt to Moscow to Novosibirsk jaunt eastward.  Other than some once in a lifetime turbulence over the Atlantic the trip was rather easy.  All of our bags AND all of our kids made it just fine.  If we get all the bags and all the kids here at the same time we cannot help but feel good about the trip.  Thank you Lord for safety and easy of travel.

Now the work begins…

Our first team, from St. Louis, MO, arrives this coming Sunday morning.  Our plan is to focus fully on the kids of the St. Nicholas Orphanage from Monday through Friday of next week.  Please pray for “Team Shepherds” which consists interestingly enough of 7 men and 1 grown woman.  Pray for Kathryn.  She’s the grown up.  She’s in need of some divine intervention given the 7 guys she’s coming with.  This will be as fun and playful and competitive a group as we have ever had.  At their team retreat in April they had, no lie, a 100 meter dash to see who was the fasted guy on the team.  Roger won.  I’m going to get along very well with this group I can tell though I will NOT race Roger. 

Lots of questions remain about which Mentors will work with us (it’s nice to have so many to choose from), what facilities will await us, and will it snow while they’re here.  The last snow was 3 weeks ago.  We think we’ll not see anymore.  We sure hope not.

Our sponsorships are s l o w l y trickling in so please keep your response to that need in prayer over the next few weeks.  July 7 is the beginning of our biggest and last camp of the summer where nearly all of the kids who want to come will need sponsorships in order to attend.  I’m so proud of our Russian Mentors.  NONE of them are wealthy but they have worked hard canvassing their families, churches, universities, and neighborhoods looking for sponsorships.  While none of them have been able to provide the full $350 sponsorship amount that we tend to ask for, they have been able to piece together 2 or 3 sponsorships by combining smaller donations.  Maybe that is something you can do too.  $350 is a lot for some people so consider going haffers, or quarters, or aters (you get the idea) with others you know.  It is a very tangible thing to send a child to a summer camp that will either develop or deepen a relationship with a lifelong Mentor.  You can do that.  We pray you will do that.

 or if you prefer to mail a check to our offices, that is fine too.  Our address is:

YouthReach International
1911 Grayson Hwy
Suite 8-344
Grayson, GA  30017

Please enclose a note saying your gift is for our Russian Summer Camp Sponsorship Program.

Some will want pictures of said mullets and capris.  One friend of mine in Abilene, TX, has already written his email requesting it I am sure.  I will likely not provide that.  It’s just better to imagine…or maybe it’s better to not imagine that at all.  You decide.

A lot of updates coming your way so do take time to read and pray through them.  I and my family appreciate that very much.

In Him,
Rob, Traci, Benjamin, Nathanael, Aidan and Anna Browne …  and Sheila “Mimi” Dunn too!

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