New Ministry Opportunities & Our Evolving Roles

If you’re not aware of our medical saga which in 2013, began to impact our time of living on the field in Russia, you can get a good glimpse of it in the article, “Medical Malaise & Mission”The evolution of our field roles in Voronezh didn't come overnight, and certainly did not simply result from our medical issues.  In fact, it's been an obvious part of God's design for this ministry, evident and intentional from the beginning.

GennaWeb Gennadiy Petrov on a recent orphanage visit

For our last few years in Russia, politics and propoganda prevented us from directly participating with the team in activities in the orphanages.  Plenty of time is still spent in a support role with the team, but we see our most important ongoing role being in mentoring and leadership development.  And, having now relocated back to Texas, we don't see those roles diminishing.  In fact, we believe our distance has become an asset to the team.  Something we’d been trying to accomplish since the work began in Voronezh has finally come to pass.  Our Russian team and its leadership are taking ownership of the work like never before, and the fruit and momentum are exciting to see.

Gennadiy Petrov, with whom we’ve partnered since the late nineties, is now even more in the forefront of the work, and the team seems to be responding well to his leadership.  And, not only is Gennadiy flourishing as a leader in the ministry, but also in his faithful service as an elder in the church he attends with his wife and daughter.

We are very encouraged by the spiritual growth, not only with team leadership, but also among the 40+ volunteers that serve in the ministry.  The team is as busy as ever before, with You Are Not Alone club now in it’s fifteenth year.  They are also doing at least six orphan camps each year in addition to a camp for children with Down Syndrome and their families, and a camp for families who've fostered and adopted Russian children from the orphanage system.  The team is also continuing to bring the message of Hope through “Day of Joy” programs to the orphanages in the region throughout the year. 
 

New Roles
 

In addition to our continued work administering the work in Voronezh, and our role in leadership development and mentoring opportunities God has given us on both sides of the ocean, Robert is excited about the new role he has taken with East-West.  He can provide you more details on that offline. 

Overlaying well with this new role, we've engaged in local ministry to the diaspora, both with our church in The North Hill refugee outreach, and World Relief, to enter into the lives of refugees being resettled in Fort Worth. 

For a glimpse into God's heart for the refugee, seldom mentioned in Scripture apart from his heart for the orphan, check out my recent video, now gone viral, "Dyan Comes Home".  I shot and edited this video for The North Hill refugee outreach of our church, The Village Church Fort Worth.

AnnNonnie Those who know Ann know how blessed our grandsons are to have her as their Nonnie. And being stateside has opened new opportunities for that important ministry.

So, as you can imagine, this is an exciting time for us, and we pray you are equally excited about continuing to partner with us, supplying the vital prayer and financial support we need to continue to run this race.  As always, the financial needs are substantially more than what normal contributions cover, and now with some extra travel demands associated with my new role, our support needs are greater still.  Please review our Financial Update page on this site for a better understanding of these needs and how you can be lifting them up in prayer.
 

Camp-Team-Waving Fall Orphan Camp 2014

 

Because the evolution of our roles, particularly in the context of the Russian field, is so closely tied to the growth and evolution of the Voronezh ministry team, I'm closing this article with a few links that will give you a much deeper look into the inner-workings of the Voronezh team.  And, for deeper and more personal insights on the team, please read our web-story, "Fruit-Bearing Fruit, Multi-Generational Discipleship."  I was just re-reading this article, and was once again overwhelmed with emotion, reflecting on what God has done.

Everyone loves pictures and videos, and I don't post near enough myself.  But, the team is continually posting photos and videos to the Russian social media sites which reflect the different facets of ministry in which the team is engaged.  Perusing these sites is a great way to get a current picture of what is going on in the various aspects of the ministry in Voronezh.  Of course the postings and comments are mostly all in Russian, but you're going there for the pictures remember!?!  Pictures form a universal language.  Here are some of the links to these Russian social media sites. 

You Are Not Alone Club

Camp Ministry

Gennadiy Petrov’s “Mercy Fund”