In just a little less than two months, I will be traveling with a team to Ivanovo, Russia, to work at a ministry center for older orphans–teenagers and young adults who have recently exited the Russian orphanage system. While orphans everywhere face innumerable challenges, orphans in Russia are especially vulnerable. Many find themselves lost in the hopelessness of addictions, violence, human trafficking, and other horrors.
The purpose of this “mission” trip is to give these older orphans a chance not only to survive, but to thrive. By building authentic relationships with them, teaching them how to identify and use their God-given gifts and talents, and, most importantly, demonstrating in a very personal way what it means to love and to be loved, we can literally change the course of their lives.
I’ll be working with young people of similar ages to the youth and young adults God has placed me in ministry with for the past 8 years. It’s a generation for which–for reasons I still don’t quite fully understand–he has gifted and equipped me to serve. To say I’m excited is an understatement. Not so much because I get to “help” someone who may need it, but because of what I know they will teach me, and how building relationships with them will cascade into so many other areas of life for them and me alike. In a very real sense, I feel like together, we’ll actually be changing the world.
The trip is sponsored by Orphan’s Tree, an organization dedicated to helping these “older orphans” integrate into society and become productive members of their communities. The video below tells the story far better than I ever could. It’s only about 5 minutes long. Please watch, and then read on below to see how you can help:
If you would like to partner with me through prayer and/or financial support in this journey and become a part of this incredible opportunity to literally change the world for the older orphans of Ivanovo, please feel free to contact me by email or through my Facebook or Twitter pages. The more people who become involved, the broader the impact. We’re all in this together.