New Leadership of a Growing Ministry Team

"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress"  James 1:27

Our ministry team is much more than a group of people serving the needs of orphans, it's also a laboratory for leadership development.  And in this laboratory are now serving many of the kids from the orphanage who at one time were being ministered to, and have now grown to become the ministers.  It's one of the key ways in which this ministry is focused on disciple-making.

Misha1 Misha Lukin leads our Spring 2012 team retreat

At the end of 2011, God blessed this ministry with a new leader in Misha Lukin.  He has a long history of leadership in our region, having been a regional leader in youth ministry here, with extensive experience in directing camp ministry.  He's even been part of the national leadership team of Christian Camping International-Russia, with whom we've developed a close partnership the past few years.

TeamMay2012 In May our team gathered to plan Summer 2012 camp ministries.

Misha's specialty is team-building, and from the time he joined us in leadership, he became a diligent student of each member of the team, to me a sign of a true leader.  Since Misha came on board, the team has grown in size from 25 to 40 Russian ministry volunteers.  Throughout the year the team is divided into a number of sub-teams (for lack of a better term), each with their own leadership group of program coordinators and project directors, focused on various forms of outreach.  The main forms of outreach include camps, orphanage visits, and the You Are Not Alone club ministry.

To get a glimpse of the team in action, check out our video called, "Catch the Wave".  It features the team hard at work loving on children with Down Syndrome and their parents.  Many of you will likely recognize a number of the team members, especially since several of them are themselves kids who some of you came and served in previous camps throughout the years. Some of the Down's kids and parents you may also recognize, as we've been doing camps for them since 1999.

Staff Retreat Team-building retreat, Fall 2008.

Certainly a key part of the focus of this work throughout the years has been disciple-making through the mentoring of our team members.  We host team retreats a couple times a year, as well as help many of our team leaders attend leadership development conferences, like the ones hosted by Christian Camping International-Russia.  As a team, we even hosted our own regional leadership development conference recently, attended by 70 youth ministry and camp ministry leaders from throughout our region. 

Helping inspire, resource, and network with other like-minded Russians through whom they can find encouragement as well as resources and ideas, has been a large part of our (Ann & Robert's) involvement here through the years, and now that God has raised up Russiain house parents to take our place in the residential ministry of Hope House, we are able to increase and improve our service to the team and the ongoing task of leadership development.

John 15 Fruit

This is a poster that Zhenya Minakov did for the team in 2009.  It ties in the scripture verse that was the theme for the team as the year began from John 15.  "Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."

The GAP Ministry Team Photos