Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Tatyanna Connection

On a flight to a conference today in Boston, I studied Russian. I try to study at least one hour every day. It truly is my most fun thing to do every day. Where in the world did that desire come from? I am no language student. Just ask an old college Spanish prof.

A year ago December, as part of the LAMb team, David and I were in Urkraine, working alongside Lynn and Ruby Johnston. It was then I was divinely ruined. I experienced such incredible joy as we worked with Ukrainian social workers. Shortly after we returned home, I sensed a real desire to be able to speak the language. It has become somewhat of a magnificant obsession.

It was February 2007 that through a mutual acquaintance, I met a young Russian speaking woman in our little tiny town of Lebanon. I just assumed that this young lady and her beautiful family were from Russia. Last fall, David took his first trip to Kyrgyzstan. We had been sensing that God was moving us in a whole new direction. One September evening while he was at home preparing to go, I was at a tutoring lesson with Tatyanna. That night I wanted to hear her story so I asked her what it was like to grow up in Russia.

She looked at me with a quizical look and said, "I didn't grow up in Russia. I am from Kyrgyzstan - the very country to which we felt drawn. I was astounded. Only God could bring two people together in such a small little Ohio town - one whose roots are in a far away land and another who desires to go there.

Recently I learned about the concept of "incarnational ministry" - Jesus walked among them. We desire to do that - to learn their names and hear their stories. It is my prayer that my very labored and elementary attempts to learn the language will help us to truly walk among them sharing the good news of the gospel of Christ.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Getting Ready To Go

In just under three weeks, we will leave for Kyrgyzstan. The last few weeks have been ones of preparation and reflection. Many have asked us why we are going and we wanted to share our vision. Departure day is April 20.

We go to Kyrgyzstan to walk alongside others who have been called to minister there. We hope to build relationships with those in ministry and with those caring specifically to meet the overwhelming needs of children and families.

David will serve as LAMb International’s Director of Central Asia working with church leaders, developing university programs and working with leaders at Mercy Foundation in Tokmok. He also looks forward to doing personal healing work with those God sends our way.

I will be working to develop Adopt Kyrgyzstan, with the goal of finding loving and permanent families for children within the country. I hope to partner with child welfare professionals and orphanage caregivers supporting, teaching and encouraging them in the very difficult work they do.

We have asked ourselves a very important question – why wouldn’t we go? We feel God has called us to this particular place and at this particular time. Simply put, we want to go there. We want to meet the people. We want to learn their names. We want listen to their stories and most of all, we want to love them and by doing so, share Christ’s love.

We will be joining the mission team of LAMb International. Founders, Lynn and Ruby Johnston have had the privilege of ministering in many countries. For information about LAMb International and their work visit their website -

Amidst the busyness of preparation, I have reflected on God's leading through all the decision-making. The list is unending, and we praise Him for clear direction, management of very specific details, financial resources and so much more. Every day, we sense a confirmation that we are going under His direction and in His will.