Monday, September 30, 2013

Reaching to Russia - Belarus 2+1 Project Testimony

Happy Last Day of the 3rd Quarter of 2014!

 

I won’t say how fast this year has flown by other than to say that the first 3 quarters of the calendar with 2013 at the top have progressed with a rapidness I am not sure I remember ever happening before.  I am sure you feel the same way.

 

2 important things to share with you.

 

First, we just finished our New Year’s Board Meeting in Abilene, TX, and I am again going to say what a joy it is to serve at the request of the Board of Directors for YouthReach International.  I simply cannot say enough how covered in prayer and encouragement and boundaries I feel working under these men and women.  Thank you again. 

 

YouthReach International Staff and Board Member attendees in Abilene, TX

 

We did bid a heartfelt goodbye to our Board Chairman for the last 3 years, Dr. Andrew Vick, who served us as admirably as any Board Chair ever has during his tenure.  Also, Dr. Jerry Strader stepped off after his term was complete truly having left us better than he found us.  Andy and Jerry, as we know them, thank you both.  Words will never express the love and admiration we have for each of you.  Jim Pack, Jr., our new Board Chair, is excited to carry this board and our organization to new and exciting levels as well and I am excited to work with him towards the same end. 

 

We also welcomed a new Board Member to our number.  Fran Andrews joins our Board after 5 years of knowing our ministry very well as Project Coordinator for the WinShape International Foundation.  It is through that relationship with Fran and WinShape International that we have been blessed to carry out multiple Chick-fil-A SERVE Seminars in Russia and this coming January in Belarus as well as History Makers Journeys together with the International Leadership Institute in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.  Fran has been the key person in seeing these alliances forged and furthered and we’re now thrilled to have her as part of the YouthReach International Board of Directors.  Don’t worry…she still works for WinShape International!

 

Second, see below and take 2 minutes to read about a young lady named Olya from Belarus.  One our teams this summer met Olya during the Adrenalin Camp that our partner church carries out each summer and we helped fund and staff this year.  Thrust into the life of an orphan via some of the most terrible conditions I can imagine she has now discovered a hope, a friend, and a community of care that has forever changed her life.  We commend the teachers and mentors in Belarus who have welcomed her with open arms and walked with her into a new life in Christ.  How exciting it is to see this level of depth and impact in our most recently added focus country.  Praise God for what he’s done in Olya’s life and through that mentoring community in Belarus.

 

Please remember Orphan Sunday is November 3.  Talk it up at your church, small group, office and of course family.  www.orphansunday.org will give you so many wonderful resources to raise awareness.  YouthReach International would like to give you some ways to respond.  More on that in the coming days and weeks.

 

My deepest appreciation to you all for your prayers and partnership.  We are stronger as a result of you being part of our team.

 

In Him,

Rob

 

Olya Napreenko

Hello!!! My name is Olya. I am 19. My birthday is on September 22. I am already a grown-up, but when I look back at my past, I am terrified…

 

I have a very horrible story…

 

When I tell the story about my past, some people are really shocked and terrified… They think that it is impossible…

My family don’t believe in God, and may be it was the reason for my bad childhood… My childhood was simply full of blood…

When I was little, everything was alright. But it had been so only until my dad was sent to prison… My mum started dating a bad guy… My life became a nightmare. At my house there were constant drinking sprees… All the time my sisters and I were dirty and stinky. Our stepfather always beat us with different things: a hose, a jumping rope, and even knives.

 

Being the oldest sister, I was put into basement (sometimes, even for the whole night) while my sisters were being beaten. I couldn’t defend them, because I was locked in the basement. There were drinking sprees at home all the time… I was trying to run away, but every time I was caught and beaten so badly that I was bleeding. While I was being beaten, my sisters were crying in another room. There were times when mum and stepfather locked us in the house, and left for a week. We stayed hungry for more than two days. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE. It wasn’t just the only case. Our life had been like that until the time when I was in the 2nd grade.

 

Then I was sent to the orphanage. So, all my childhood was spent in the orphanage, and not with my family. On the one hand, it was sad, but on the other hand, it was good. There were no longer constant drinking sprees, cries, fights, etc. I am glad I found myself in the orphanage. May be it was God’s will…

 

I have already finished school. I passed all my exams, except English, successfully. I am not upset, because

 

I have wonderful friends from the church. They help me to learn more and more about God. They

offered me to participate in the project, and I agreed. It is cool. I think that I will live together with people who understand me and are ready to support me in any situation…

 

This summer I was in ADRENALIN camp (held by Reconciliation church). There I met wonderful friends from church…

 

I AM HAPPY I HAVE MET SUCH GOOD FRIENDS…)))

 

I AM HAPPY THAT I HAVE A CNAHCE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROJECT…)))

 

I AM HAPPY THAT GOD HELPS ME IN MY LIFE, EXPECIALLY NOW…)))

 

 

 

 

Rob Browne

Executive Director

 

rob@youthreach.org

678-935-0220 ext. 103

404-518-5646 Cell

678-935-9674 Fax

          http://www.youthreach.org

          1911 Grayson Hwy, Ste 8-344

          Grayson, GA 30017

 

 

 

 

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