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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Breaking the Mold

Hey Hey Hey from Elgin Illinois!

I am at the Elgin Ministry Center (EMC) near Chicago... right now I am in between classes and only have a few minutes.

There is so much practicle knowledge that is being applied to equip and train missionaries (strategic workers) to go forth and spread the gospel and love of Jesus! I am surprised at how active this ministry is.

I am going to paste in the email that I send to my pastor and to members of the mission board last night. Some of it has been discussed in previous blogs, but I am thinking about it so clearly right now that I want to share the excitement with you all.

The last time I wrote to you all, I was excited about my upcoming
Winter Trip to Moscow. I got back from that in January and got right
back into my daily grind... I never really debriefed with you about
what happened.

We put on a Youth Camp, we had about 38 teens that came to the camp,
and there were also a number of Russian leaders that were facilitating
the camp. The Americans really are there just to help. Since we are
not allowed to share the gospel directly, or have a Christian
curriculum for the week; the team found a way to share the gospel
through a skit we did. Russian Christmas is January 7th, its because
of the old calendar that was used. We put on a short play about what
Christmas is like in America: we showed the commercialism and Santa
Claus on one hand, and the story of Christ and the nativity on the

The goal of these camps is not to directly evangelize, the goal is to
build a relationship bridge with the teens that come. As a team, we
each chose one Russian teen, and one Russian leader to pray for all
week, and to make a connection with. The gospel was shared indirectly
though these relationships, and when the situation allowed, the gospel
was presented as clearly as possible.

The next step for these teens is to get them plugged into the club
ministry that the Moscow Team has in place. The camp and the club are
titled the same, in Russian "Natisk" which means Breakthrough. The
next club was the first week of February, almost 3 weeks after the
camp ended. We saw 36 of the 38 teens attend the club. This is
amazing! Through the club ministry they relationships are build and
the gospel is shared one on one, Russian to Russian!! We could not
have imagined such a large response. The teens are getting involved in
sports ministries and Bible studies.

These camps and clubs have been a great tool in building the local
church. Paradigma Church (Paradigm in English) is growing and
thriving. The Senior Pastor and the Youth Pastor are both Russian
nationals God has raised up, the Moscow Team Leader (Lance Corley)
also serves as a Pastor within this church. Through these three
Pastors God has also sprung up a Youth Leader training school called
"Perspektiva" (Perspective). This program is really great. Students
come for 2 weeks, twice a year for 2 years. So all together, there are
4 training sessions that are 2 weeks each. In between times, the
trainers and coaches from the school keep in touch with the students
to provide on going training and practical support for them. This
program has already seen huge success in the graduates from the first
2 year block. Specifically there is a story of one graduate in Beslan
(where the hostage crises took place, and in a community of 30,000...
nearly 1,000 were killed) who has risen up in place of his Pastor who
is going through a tough grieving process and disillusionment at
losing half of his kids. (I believe it was 2 of 4)

This team is currently exploring the process is which to develop a
missions agency for Russians. This church has seen people who want to
rise up and reach the "outer most places of the their world." For
myself, Moscow is the ends of the Earth, but to them, its Jerusalem.
This April, Yuri Poszidiyev and Sergey Pankov (respectively the Senior
and Youth Pastors of Paradigma) will be in Chicago with Lance to
receive training on how to make this a reality.

God is doing a great work in Moscow. I have been accepted to come back
to Moscow and serve for one year as a Missionary Intern. I am
currently writing to you from International Teams USA in Elgin
(Chicago) IL. I am here for an intensive training course that is
preparing me for everything from effective cross cultural ministry to
fund raising.

I will be the first Intern for the Moscow Team, and I do not think
that there could be a better time then right now. Another project that
is coming into focus is the construction of a new facility for Youth,
and Perspektiva (the school). There are lots of things I will be
involved in my time there.

I feel God's prompting toward full time missions. That prompting goes
beyond this period of one year that I will serve in Moscow. There are
lots of possibilities and opportunities beyond that time.

I would love to meet with you all when I get back to Tucson to talk
about how we can partner in seeing this call fulfilled. I have some
pretty radical ideas that I would like to put on the table and see
where they run to. I'll be back on Monday.

Thanks guys, talk to you soon!

What are my radical ideas? What will I propose to the members of the mission board and my family back home? ... you can't see it, but I am grinning right now... a smirk is slowly coming, its starting on the left, and spreading across my face causing my lips to part slightly as a rush of excitement washes over me.

This training is the best thing that has happened to me in such a long time.

www.iteams.org << check it out man.

There are two people going to Quito, Ecuador here with me. Check out Youth World. God is doing amazing things...



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