Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy New Year (Seriously)!

Happy New Year - YouthReach International Style! 

As our ministry year runs September to August let me be the first to wish you a Happy New Year from YouthReach International.  The year behind us saw immense growth in our organization's mentors, staff, partners and most of all the orphans that we serve.  That is only possible through the partnership of you and others like you so please accept our sincerest thanks for being part of our team.  We are better at what we do as a result of you standing with us.  Thank you!

I returned two days ago from a very quick trip to Simferopol and Donetsk, Ukraine, as well as Novosibirsk, Russia, with my good friend and ministry partner James Hutcheson of Lamppost Studios (  It was my first trip with YouthReach International to Crimea to see first hand the work that so many who have gone before me have labored to lead.  Thank you Greg Perry and David Hennessey and now Joel Butts for your service and work there.  Great things are being done and so much more is about to break loose.  Donetsk, Ukraine, is our base in eastern Ukraine and it was a thrill to finally visit the Snezhnoye orphanage I've heard so much about.  That group of children are sadly forgotten by many but not at all by our mentors, so many of our US team members and the Morrow family who have served and taught there so admirably the last many years. 

Two tough guys hanging out in Simferopol.

Novosibirsk, Russia, remains our "Jerusalem" in Russia but it's exciting to see our reach now blessing both established and developing mentoring communities in Tomsk, Barnaul, Yekaterinburg and even Chita, Russia.  Some very exciting growth news will be coming soon about some of those locations in Russia.  Stay tuned for that!  Though we did not get to our friends and partners in Belarus on this trip we know great things have taken place there of late too.  In time we might have to segment these newsletters into a country by country focus.  It's growing that much and the stories worth telling are so many.

We arrived in Novosibirsk just in time to join one of our mentors
visiting one of the children she mentors to celebrate his birthday with him.
Turns out that was the only acknowledgement of his birthday the whole day.

I want to give you a heads up about a very important day coming up on November 3.  It's Orphan Sunday and it is a day like no other during the year.  You can visit the Christian Alliance for Orphan's Orphan Sunday site at to learn more about events going around the world to bring attention to the orphan crisis and then mobilize people to respond in meaningful ways.  The 5th Annual Orphan Sunday Cake Auction will be happening in Norcross, GA, November 9, as part of Orphan Sunday efforts.  Please email if you wish to receive more information about that.  I encourage you to share that website with your friends and family as well as the opportunity that Orphan Sunday affords us.  Awareness and response are needed and possible in great ways on that day. 

What can you do to promote Orphan Sunday?

With that we say thank you for taking the time to catch up with us this month.  Your partnership and encouragement are treasures to us.  Thank you for them.

Gratefully yours,
Rob Browne for the entire YouthReach International Family

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