Friday, April 4, 2014

Ending Our Time

Friday afternoon, we ended the pastors' four day seminar. So many folks expressed their appreciation to David for the content - pastoral counseling. It is not something here that is often done. Our prayer is that they will feel better equipped to carry on their ministry of healing in very difficult situations.

Here is the group

After class on Friday, we went into the city about 45 minutes away to share in training with foster and adoptive parents.  It is now Saturday morning and we are heading back there today for a full day with many parents who are caring for these children with trauma history and have no preparation to do so. What a privilege to be able to share what God has given us.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

More Pictures from Teen Challenge Chapel

During our time on the campus of Teen Challenge, we have looked around and watched the men whose lives were once devastated by drugs and alcohol. We see what God is doing, and there really are words to describe what we see and hear. These men are now moving toward freedom in every way. They will in turn, help others. Here are some more pictures from David's evening at a chapel service.

Special new friends - Olya and Pasha on the left are the directors of the Teen Challenge Center

George and Katya are on the Teen Challenge staff.

Pastors, Youth Workers and Trauma

Do pastors and church youth leaders need to have any understanding of the lifelong impact of trauma on a person? That question was answered with a resounding yes today as we finished our third day with pastors and youth leaders.

Often called to minister to deeply hurting people, the pastors' commented today that it gave them a much greater understanding of the unique needs of their people.  More than one pastor commented that today's classes took them to their own place of hurt and pain from childhood and they realized that they have some healing work to do themselves.

Our hearts were deeply touched today by these men and women who have such a heart for wounded people - adults and children alike.

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days.

Taking a walk at has been warm here in Siberia!!!! Quite amazing

Time for lunch - Victor keeps us right on schedule.

Going over class notes before a test.

Oksana is our excellent translator and so much help.

While David was conducting the afternoon teaching session, I went with friends to a local orphanage for a program they do there weekly.
Sharing a story
Picture is a tad fuzzy - but we ended a long but great day with David sharing at the Teen Challenge chapel services last night.  This was a time to "always be ready to give the reason for the hope within you"  as he had no time to prepare when he was asked to share.

Sharing with the Teen Challenge participants.  This is always a time we regret that we cannot speak the same language.

We will finish the pastors' seminar on Friday afternoon and then head into the city for a weekend (Friday night and Saturday)  sharing with foster and adoptive parents.  Our plans for next week are still in development as the original ones were changed.

So much is happening with our LAMb  team members and friends. Visit their blogs - quite amazing     (Lynn and Ruby Johnston)    ( John and Julie Wright)

Thanks for your caring and support...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First Day First Impressions

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.