The Mission continues...
It seems like years since I've written to you. Since the death of our friend and aid partner Ludmila Kozovaya, the time has passed very slowly, and I've been working on new relationships with those trying to manage the enormous task of filling her shoes.
Ludmila knew the day would come when she wouldn't be there, and she'd been training her niece Lena by giving her part-time work at Otklik. She mentioned long ago that she had noticed that the two of them shared the same heart for people, and she hoped that Lena might take her place someday.
We had no idea it would be this soon.
As usual, God knew what we needed, and He'd been preparing the way all along.
With the help of Katya, Ludmila's daughter, and Lydia, Ludmila's lifelong friend, and partner in Otklik, Lena is excited to build on that solid foundation.
I can't wait to get back there to spend some time with her and introduce her to you.
In the meantime, I have exciting and happy news for you!
For a long time, Ludmila and I had been talking about the need for a small building to sit next to the church. There is no space in our little church for people to meet for a conversation or counseling, no office, no place to sit and write a prayer request or talk with a friend. In the Russian tradition, it's not appropriate to meet for anything but worship in the sanctuary.
It was our dream to see this small space built, and we knew it would get done, but there were more pressing problems to deal with first, like electricity to the building so they wouldn't freeze in the winter! (our most recent project completed in Oct 2019).
Since Ludmila's death, we have decided to go ahead with the little building now to honor her life and ministry to her people and her homeland. This building completes the structural part of the mission God called Ludmila to so many years ago.
When I told Katya, and Ludmila's husband, Oleg, they were overwhelmed because although their hearts wanted to finish it for her, they don't have the resources.
So, with the help of Oleg and Alex, Ludmila's son, we went building shopping.
Here are some pictures…
I know it doesn't look like much now. It's little rough... but wait!
The building is steel with a steel frame and floor support. It's solid, and I promise you that it will be as lovely as The Church of St Nikolis sitting next to it.
We have purchased the building, paid for the transport, crane positioning, and the foundation preparation.
Now comes the fun part, to bring it to life and make it a place that, in concert with the church, will honor God and serve His people with joy.
Because you've shared this dream with us, the church is serving Ludmila's village of Zvonia and the surrounding area. This new addition completes the vision Ludmila had by providing a place to share and meet together that goes beyond Sunday worship.
If this project has touched your heart and you feel led to help, we would be grateful. Most importantly, please pray for us as we continue to serve the people of Belarus in Jesus' name.
PS: I'll keep you updated with pictures as the transformation continues
Blessings to you~