After a thrilling 10 days in Russia and Belarus I am back home. I’m back to coaching basketball and baseball. I’m back to Traci and my 4 wonderful children. I’m back to wondering how this Braves outfield will do this upcoming season.
I’m also back to telling the story here of what is happening there. We have 3 very important events coming up soon in Nashville (April 11), Dallas (April 18) and Atlanta (April 25) where we’ll share and show what our impact is. Please save those dates and be on the lookout next week for more concrete information coming your way about them. They are fundraising events but they are free to attend. More on that soon!
Per the story, I am beyond encouraged at the growth of our mentoring community in Novosibirsk. They truly own the work, the vision, and the responsibility in a way we have prayed for years would come about. They are building the ministry models for the future that will best impact orphans. They are recruiting more mentors and working to train them. They are delivering the life changing mentoring to orphans God has entrusted to us.
In our story, Novosibirsk is our Jerusalem. We started there. We saw the first signs of God’s favor in this ministry there. Even so, we dreamed that beyond our Jerusalem God might show us what our Judea and Samaria and ends of the earth might look like. Our Judea seems now to be places not so far away from us. Our friends in Tomsk have accelerated their mentoring efforts there significantly the last 6 months with a clearer vision and a passionate team. 1000 miles to the west we see the seeds of another mentoring community awakening. We are excited to encourage them any way we can. 1800 miles to the east we see a growing movement as well that God is allowing us to come alongside and encourage. With a ministry model that values partnering as a key component of growth, God is giving us some wonderful partners and growth indeed.
One session during our Mentoring Summit had leaders from all 3 Russian speaking countries share obstacles they face.
Those who could then shared from their own ministries and experiences how they have overcome similar challenges.
Our Samaria seems to be Belarus to the west. A Russian speaking country with a passionate network of churches and leaders is how we have advanced orphan mentoring there. Ruslan is actually there on the ground right now serving alongside mentors who want to be beyond active but truly impactful in the lives of orphans. Many of you are familiar with our History Makers training we carried out in Belarus last July. 28 leaders attended that event then. We had 22 of those 28 gather last Wednesday night in Minsk to share what they have done with the training they have received. Far more than just another conference History Makers mobilizes young leaders for action. All those who returned showed us they indeed have been active and fruitful in the King’s service.
Our ends of the earth? Interestingly enough, the United States and Latin America seem to be places where God is turning ears towards us and maybe will provide a foothold in the future. It’s worth all of our prayers now to consider what God might have us do to empower and encourage mentoring movements world wide and not just in the places we have known thusfar. Come to one of the events listed above hear more about our “end of the earth” initiatives.
Lots of information will be coming your way the next few weeks. New ministry roles, exciting events, the sending of teams, and of course stories of mentors impacting children will arrive via email. Please be on the lookout. We’ll keep them short but will definitely make them worth your time to read.
I’m back home. And I’m very glad to be.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership,
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