Pastors from all around the Novokuznetsk region of Russia gathered today for the first of a four day pastoral counseling seminar. We are just getting to know them and their needs and look forward to the remaining time with them.
There are many and powerful impressions from the first day of training with these men and 2 women. The first is the power of the Gospel to change lives. Most of these men were severe drug and alcohol abusers and all the horrible things that go with that lifestyle. Many of them have long and deep scars that are visible that give testimony to the way it used to be. Now, because of the Gospel and those who brought it to them, they are clean, sober and in the ministry.
David and translator, Oksana, begin class
These men and women understand hopelessness, loss and pain in ways many of us cannot. This is why they are so effective in their ministry—they understand the problem and they know what those in the trap of addiction need. We will be sharing more in the coming days, but wanted to post a first look picture.
Our plans for next week have changed and as our team member, Lynn always says - it isn't our time to know what the new plan will be. What we do know is that following the last class day on Friday, we will travel into the city for a Friday night and Saturday training session with foster and adoptive parents. On Sunday, we hope to visit local orphanages. Later next week we go on to Ukraine and then Kyrgyzstan and then home on the 20th of April.