Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orphan Sunday Is This Sunday

 
 
Orphan Sunday is This Sunday!
 
Join the YouthReach International family as well as thousands of others around the world as we bring attention and resources to the cry of the orphan the world over this coming Sunday, November 4.  YouthReach International is involved in the following ways:
 
  • Russian Operations Manager, Ruslan Asadov, will be speaking at the Southern Crescent Church in Tyrone, GA, during the 9.45 a.m. srevice.  www.southerncrescentcoc.org for directions.
  • Rob Browne, YouthReach International Executive Director, will be leading a communion service at the Family of God at Woodmont Hills in Nashville, TN, at both morning services.  www.woodmont.org for times and directions.
  • Community Church of Christ will host their 4th Annual Orphan Sunday Cake Auction at Greater Atlanta Christian School's Student Family Center at 6 p.m.  A free meal will be followed by a time of worship and communion.  The Cake Auction will begin approximately 7.30 p.m.  Please bake a cake, bring that cake, and come ready to bid generously on the creations of others while they do the same for you.  All funds collected this evening will go towards YouthReach International's Orphan Sponsorship Program.
Please join us at one or more of these events if you are in the Atlanta or Nashville areas.  To find an Orphan Sunday event in your area, please go to http://orphansunday.org/map/.

 

The Heart of the Matter
by Rob Browne
 
I returned to the U.S. late last week from a quick but very productive trip to Novosibirsk, Russia, and Donetsk, Ukraine.  In both countries I was blessed to spend focused time with our top tier leaders.  We prayed, we studied, we planned, and enjoyed deep times of fellowship and encouragement.  As I watched, listened, and learned, I saw again that truly the heart of our ministry is our Mentors.  Our U.S. partners that understand our ministry best are truly those that understand the role of our Mentors.  Even in our host countries, the church leaders, training school directors, and partner organizations that "get" our ministry at its core are those that see and appreciate the role our Mentors play in the lives of orphans, the atmosphere of orphanages, and the culture of their countries. 

Traveling with a new staff member who had never been to our ministry points and a board member attending his first mentor retreat, I was hopeful that they too would see and sense something deeper than their previous interactions with our ministry had afforded them. Not to put words in their mouths but emails and conversations with them since returning show me they were profoundly affected not only by the countries and cultures, the orphans and orphanages, the partners and projects, but chiefly by Arthur, Ruslan, Yasha, Alyona, Nastia, Masha, Sergei, Katya, Lilya, and on and on. The Mentors left an embedded mark on their hearts just as they do mine and, I hope, yours.

As we focus on orphans this coming Sunday, which is only right that we do at least once a year if not much more often than that, let us also give thanks for the people who choose to traverse public transportation, less than comfortable weather conditions, indifferent friends and family, and occasionally unsupportive orphanage staff to deliver hope, unconditional love and acceptance, and attention to children without a mother, without a father, without a family. 
 

YouthReach International Mentors from Novosibirsk and Tomsk, Russia, staff from the U.S. as well as YouthReach International alumnus Les Nesbitt from Khon Kaen, Thailand,
joined us for 2.5 wonderful days just outside of Novosibirsk, Russia.
 
 

Who Are Those People?
Cheri Raines.  Mike Neill.  Either of those names ring a bell?  James and Anita Hutcheson.  Olga Kharitonova.  How about them?  Each of these are financial partners of YouthReach International who have been featured every other Tuesday since early September as part of a year end giving campaign called "Why This Matters, Why I Give."  If you have not followed their stories you still can by going to the YouthReach International Blog at http://blog.youthreach.org.  Still to come is an entire family who lives in a Middle Eastern country, a business man who is a former team member, team leader, and board member, a relative of YouthReach International staff, a collector of things that go fast in the great state of Texas, and more than a few other treasured partners of this ministry. 

As you read their stories and hear what about this ministry resonates with their heart consider what connects with yours.  You may very well find that what moves them to respond might also move you to as well.   
 

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