This summer has been a kind of busy one. I tried to keep men’s groups working as long as possible. Most people usually go on vacation in the summer, so much activity in local churches freezes.

04082013788But this summer only the group in Monchegorsk/Olenegorsk stopped completely. The group in Nikel worked all June, the group in Polarny stopped in the middle of July, and the group in Murmansk has been meeting through all summer. There are always new men there. All groups will start again in the beginning of September. In some groups I will start the new program.

I also have been translating two books: Sexual Sanity for Men and The Beautiful Outlaw. Both books are awesome. I’m developing a new program using them both. I started working on Masters Men web programs recently, and I see that their way is very interesting. They use the internet a lot. There’s a man in Monchegorsk who is very good in web design. Together with him we will design our own site in September.

Right now there is only one web site in Russia for men – my friend David’s. Only one! I couldn’t believe it. Now I’m developing the content for the site: writing articles, recording short video lessons. There’s an enormous demand for such a resource here in Russia. That will also provide a way to serve more men all over Russia, not only in the Murmansk Region. I see great future for that kind of work.

We had two small retreats in June – in Nikel and here in Polarny. The 1st one was difficult but as the result, there are unbelieving men who we got to know, and they are getting involved in our activities. The second one was even smaller and difficult, too – because of the weather and mosquitoes. The end of June was incredibly hot. 27 Celsius. Up to 30 (86F). For the North it is very difficult. But it was good anyway. The hike across Varanger didn’t happen because all men who intended to go couldn’t go due to various reasons.


Instead, we went to prayer Conference in Karasjok (Finnmark, Northern Norway) with two other men from our team. It is a yearly conference of Northern areas of Finland, Norway and Russia. Traditionally, those areas are very much separated from each other. Even different towns along Norwegian coastline are separated from each other. The purpose of that conference is to bring people together and let them get to know each other, to know what’s happening in neighbor countries/towns/churches. We didn’t have a chance to speak there because the man who was in charge of that couldn’t come.

But anyway, I met a man from Alta, a coastal Norwegian town. He used to lead a men’s group in his church and his heart is burning to serve to men. You know, sometimes it happens that you meet a person and see that you both are on the same frequency, you think the same way. That’s what happened there.

We decided that we will work together. We have an idea of a men’s conference for Northern Norway. And trips and small groups as follow up work. The man’s name is Steinar, which means Stone Warrior. We joked that with that name he will easily fit in into Stoneworks!  🙂

On the way back we stopped in Lakselv, another Norwegian town. We visited with our friend, Arne Skare, who I met in last year conference. He is a Lutheran Priest and a great man. He also has a great desire to serve to the men in his area. He tried to organize a survival camp for the men there last year, but it didn’t work. We spent almost 2 hours in his house. He supported the idea of a large men’s conference in Northern Norway. A possible time for it is late May next year.

Then we made one more stop in Vestre Jacobselv to see our friend Oyvind, who was with us in our March meeting there. Today, when I was praying, I clearly saw that we need to start a men’s group there in Vestre Jacobselv. It is not that far from Russian border, and the men there desperately need this ministry. I talked with my pastor and with Vitaly, who lives in Nikel, near Norwegian border. Pastor Peter is encouraged with that idea, and Vitaly is ready to go there and be my partner there. Right now I’m thinking about monthly meetings. But we’ll see how often we can do that when we start it.

Aug 26 – 28 we’ll have another big event here in Murmansk Region – a yearly Summer Camp.