“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Yes, I’m off to Russia again. Trip number eleven. But who’s counting?
Instead of telling you what you probably already know about the CrossRoads ministry in Samara and what I do there, this time I want to share some testimonials of how God is touching lives through your prayers and generosity. He is providing THROUGH YOU to make an eternal difference. THANK YOU!
Tanya invited our friend Dima Gerasimov, a former youth pastor who now works in the city youth department, to speak in her 11thgrade CrossRoads class about true and false models of manhood. Dima has a great gift to build immediate rapport with young people, and the regular classroom teachers were amazed to see how the truths they had spoken about so many times, which had been ignored so many times by their students, were immediately supported and accepted when heard from him. Dima dethroned the stereotypes of a real man that the mass media tries to thrust on younger generation. This meeting has shown once again how authoritative a man’s word is and how badly young people need good models of righteous men in their lives. There are only three men teachers in this school, and only three kids from the whole class have fathers in the home. Dima invited the students to come to his youth club where they discuss different moral issues every Friday and where they can get personal advice from him.
CrossRoads instructor Olga Starostina recently began teaching the curriculum in the 7th grade in another school. She is very committed to the program and has been teaching it since 1998. She writes: “As usual I was given a “problem” class. Their teacher said that they were the most disobedient kids at school. But they turned out to be quite normal, just very active and lively. When I started speaking to them, they listened in dead silence with “open mouths.” Nobody had ever spoken to them on such topics and never asked for their personal opinion. After five lessons, they were asked the question: “Why do you attend this class?” They answered: “To be kinder to people,” “To talk, to listen, to start thinking and change my attitude to life,” “To learn something and correct my mistakes in life,” “This lesson helps me to analyse my behaviour,” “It is just interesting!” At these lessons, the students don’t just say “the right” words but embrace them, first into their hearts and then put into practice. For example, at the lesson “True love” they at once mentioned the main features of true love (care, patience, forgiveness…) but at the beginning of the lesson, they were only theory to them, far from their real life. At the end of the lesson, they realized that they needed to apply it every day now.”
Olga concluded with a personal testimony:
“It’s not easy to teach this curriculum, you must model all the features of a righteous character yourself and very often the content of the lesson rebukes us and shows the spheres of our life where we ourselves need correction. And our Bible studies help us to rely on God “Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Phil.1:6).
I could share a dozen more stories from the lives of my friends in Russia. But time is short—I leave on May 13, and have much to accomplish before then. My prayer is that in these brief testimonies you will see a glimpse of the impact we are making together—and that you will want to continue to do so. I’ll be as open as I can—the greatest need there now is financial. We need to keep the doors open, the rent paid, the phones on. ANYTHING helps. And when you give, it also says: we believe in you.
That goes a long way.
So, if you can and will, please send your tax-deductible donations to:
HELP IS ON THE WAY
1529 Taylor Lane
Madera, CA 93637
(note: “Samara” on the memo line.)
If you don’t need a tax receipt, you can send your gift directly to me:
8622 La Espuela Court
Atascadero, CA 93422
In either case, every penny goes directly to CrossRoads to support their good work. If possible, please mail your donation before the 5thof May so we have time to process it before I leave.
The opening Scripture says it all. I’m just a simple clay pot, taking the love of Christ to people greatly in need of knowing Him. Your encouragement in helping me to be His hands and His feet surrounds me with a great cloud of witnesses—and I never feel alone.
P.S. If you are happen to be a newer friend and don’t know much about this second-half adventure of mine, you can read all about CrossRoads on my blog: http://www.jeanettemorris.wordpress.com and also see some posts and pictures from previous trips. I also post my itinerary as it develops, so you can see even now what kind of events are in the works.