Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reaching to Russia - What Others Say

A few quotes and stories from the last few months as it relates to YouthReach International’s past, present, and future.  I’ll cease commentary and let them speak for themselves.  I did get permission to share these stories on the terms I’ve included below. 

From Dad who has been a friend of mine since our undergraduate days at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN:

Dear Rob,

The long story:

I enjoyed so much getting to visit with you this month at Chick-fil-A.   I did not tell you about what happened to me on the way to our visit.  I was taking (my daughter) to school as usual right before meeting you. We always take turns saying a prayer on the way to school every morning.  She did not know anything about our meeting.  Although she has seen pictures of you and your family and I have told her about you, she does not know anything about you besides the fact that you are involved with "mission work."  Anyway, it was her turn to say our morning prayer.  When she prays for us, she always includes a prayer for orphans and usually picks a different country.  A few weeks ago, she prayed for Australian orphans.  I asked her why Australia and she said because she has NEVER heard anyone else praying for them.  She said the orphans of Australia are being neglected.  Anyway, on this particular morning when I was about to meet you, she said a prayer for Siberian orphans!!  I almost had to pull over I was so surprised.

After the prayer I asked her why she picked the Siberian orphans.  She said she had no idea, it just popped into her head for some reason.  (Insert Holy Spirit here)  OK , so next thing that happens is last week, (my wife) and I were discussing some ideas for Christmas to teach the kids some things about giving and blessing others.  We commented that we did not really see where the extra money was right now but we wanted to pick something and watch for opportunities this week and next week to bless some people.  Now the next part has to remain 100% confidential!  (My daughter) put her letter to Santa Claus in the mail this weekend.  She made (my wife) promise that she would not get it out of the mailbox (she is borderline on her Santa Claus belief).  Well, she did not say anything to me about it.  So guess what- I took it out and made a copy of it then resealed it and put it back.  So in her letter, she asked for 2 gifts.  Then she asked Santa if he would do her a special favor. She asked him to visit the Russian orphans. OK, I'm trying to make this story short but it just isn’t.  The NEXT
DAY- yesterday - I get a check in the mail.  It was a dividend check from an investment I made a few YEARS ago.  TOTALLY UNEXPECTED.   

Finally to get to the point- We would like to send you some money from this check so that (my daughter’s) wishes come true.          

The short story:

God has spoken to me through the tender heart of my daughter.  Where do I send this check this week?

The funds given by this man on behalf of his daughter went towards providing this birthday party for the kids at one of our partner orphanages earlier this week. 

From a 2012 Team Member preparing to work with YouthReach International for the first time:

I am thrilled at the prospect of working with YouthReach International.  Since I just retired from teaching in June, my dream of going on this mission trip, Lord willing, will become reality. 

As I read Tony Morrow's e-mails from his recent trip to Ukraine, my concept of YouthReach International's mission magnified into a 3-D world of faith, hope, and love.  Without doubt, this organization encompasses a great deal more than visiting orphans in their distress.  Dedicated Christians are faithfully nurturing the neglected and forgotten children of this former Soviet-block country 24/7--bringing the love of Jesus into tender hearts, offering them a chance to become part of the family--part of the family of God.  At the same time, loving Christians provide these orphans with a healthy lifestyle by structuring in cultural activities, character education, career exploration, and trade school opportunities, as well as the opportunity to attend church services and Bible studies. Providing hope and opportunity, this ministry equips and guides forgotten children to believe in themselves, to broaden their vision of the future, and to one day impact the world.

As I again viewed the graphic, on-line You Tube videos that capture the life stories of these children, my heart went out to them yet again.  As a veteran teacher in the ranks of Abilene ISD, I have served on the front-line in an inner-city, alternative, at-risk high school for the last eighteen years.  The opportunity to serve on this mission where emphasis is place on traditional values--values that meet the religious, educational, social, emotional, and vocational needs of children appeals to me.

God bless you as you humbly work in His Kingdom, as you "practice pure and undefiled religion before God ... to visit the orphans in their affliction" (James 1:27), and as you proclaim the good news ... to the poor (Luke 4:18).

In Christian love,

Shannon Conley  

Knowing my emails can get long, I’ll leave it at that.  I was very encouraged by both of these notes and pray you are too.  Our partnership matters and the work we are doing together IS impacting lives.

Thank you again,
Rob, Traci and family

Rob Browne
Executive Director
Director of Russian Operations

678-935-0220 x103 Direct
404-518-5646 Cell
678-935-9674 Fax

          1911 Grayson Hwy, Ste 8-344
          Grayson, GA 30017

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