Hello friends –

I have some pictures that were taken last month and there are some stories behind them.

Sveta is a foster Mom for two orphan boys. Zhenya, the older one, is married and just a couple of weeks ago (on the 22nd of January) a baby girl Masha was born into their family! Then there is Vadim who graduated from a vocational school last year and works at a construction site. Sveta and Vadim came to visit at my place on Russian Orthodox Christmas Day and we had a nice chat about the ministry opportunities. Vadim gave some very helpful advice on how to reach out to  young people! Especially the ones who live in Papernya village whom he knows.

During this Covid 19 times, when any visits to orphanages and other places with big groups of people are not possible, one on one communication is what we can do and I believe God calls us to do. This is the time when we can see a person whom God puts into our heart to pray for and then ask about what that is that interests or bothers them, possibly be the answer to their needs, And then by God’s grace we hope to bring them to realize that we all need Jesus. This is the ultimate purpose of the ministry, the result of everything done in the process – the process of healing of a human soul.

Sveta sees her home as the place where she could invite the kids from the neighborhood and watch good films together and then have a discussion over tea.

Also cooking classes are great where the kids could learn how to cook simple and healthy food.  And also how to interact with each other!

This is something that can be done on a regular basis, because young people are not like adults who get tired easily, young people  need to be always engaged.

After such discussion and prayer about ministry opportunities, Sveta and Vadim visited Yura – a teenager who lives down the street in their village. He is known as “the bad one” at our school, the one I personally have been avoiding because he is disobedient and can be even aggressive.

Sveta has a heart for such teenage boys and they also respond to her when treated with such deep respect as human beings.

Christmas day was a good chance to visit with him (and bring some groceries as a gift from angels) and make a connection for future  deeper conversations. He is raised by a Mom who cannot afford to buy him the clothes that he does not feel embarrassed at school as he put it.

Sveta thought it was a good idea to let him for the first time in his life choose a winter jacket and pants that he really needed for such cold weather as we have been having this winter.  To cut this very special story short I will just say that the shopping experience for Yura was important and meaningful to him as well as some life lessons that he had to learn in the process.

I also must say that the teachers at school really appreciate that he does not come to classes wearing something like pyjama pants as he used to do before)).

There is another family who live just next door to Sveta. There are two girls there – Sasha who just turned 14 and Margarita who is 9. Their parents just got a divorce and it has been a big mess. The girls are neglected by their mother and Sveta is literally taking care of them.

There is a lot to write about that family situation, I do not feel I can do it in this one letter.

I do believe it is not  by accident or coincidence that Sveta is there for them right now.

With love in Christ,


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