Giving Thanks, Serving Others, and Pressing On
As Thanksgiving arrives soon, I wanted to share a little bit about our amazing Ukraine staff. Your support of MP is what makes their ministry possible. We are deeply thankful for your trust and partnership, and so grateful for this gifted, passionate team that is making disciples of at-risk children.
I thought you would like to meet some of the people “behind the scenes” doing the ministry. This is not all of them, but space limits our story. Please remember these faithful workers in your prayers!
Sasha Satenko #1 (L) – Sasha’s story was told in the September 2020 newsletter. An orphan whose father died and whose mother abandoned her, last year was her first as a “counselor helper”. Sasha met Jesus in a MP camp, she attended our discipleship program “Daniel School” and she is a 3rd year law student. God is doing great things in her life and she relates so well to the kids.
Tima Anokhin #2 (L) – Tima is a pastor’s kid and has served with us for 18 years. His wife is a former orphan, they have two children, and they volunteer at his wife’s orphanage. Tima is a spiritual leader with a big heart for kids.
Kostya Matvienko #4 (L) – Kostya grew up in a large Christian family and was a sponsored child in the MP program. He goes to Calvary Chapel Kyiv and is very creative, a talented showman, and is very involved helping kids in our camp drama performances. He also studies IT in college.
Alex and Natasha #6 & 7 (R) – Married in 2014, they are dedicated youth workers and MP camp counselors for many years. Alex teaches English and Natasha mathematics. Their emphasis, however, is mentoring, coaching, and leading young people to a deeper walk with Christ. (They were instrumental in Sasha Satenko’s life.)
Yana Glushko #9 (R)– Yana serves with MP full time, she has been running camps for 15 years, she is married to Igor, (who is a missionary with MP serving at Teen Challenge). They have 3 kids and a soft heart for at-risk kids. She is a prayer warrior, a tireless organizer, and in her free time she loves rowing and baking.
Zhenya Kozachuk #10 (L) – Zhenya’s story was told in our September 2019 newsletter. He was an orphan, lived on the streets as a 10-year old boy, and got invited to our summer camp. He found Christ in his life and today is married with 4 children, sings worship in church, and now helps lead worship in our camps. He identifies deeply with the kids and God is using him as he shares his story.
Armenia Outreach Trip
As you may know, the small country of Armenia is at war. The historically unresolved conflict with neighbor Azerbaijan ignited again in September. Many have died in the fighting over “Artsakh” which is the autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh inside Azerbaijan.
Under Joseph Stalin the Soviet army ruled the southern Caucuses area. The autonomous republic of Karabakh was “given” by Stalin to Azerbaijan. This mountainous region is historically and culturally part of Armenia. They are Christian, not Muslim, and remained independent until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, when war broke out again. An uneasy ceasefire was declared in 1994 but tensions remained. Turkey equips Azerbaijan militarily, and Armenia already suffered genocide at the hands of Turkey. They will not allow this to happen again to the Armenians of Karabakh.
Today, the young men who have attended MP summer camps are serving on the frontlines. Hundreds of soldiers have been killed and wounded in the fighting. Many of them return home with no job, only to find other Karabakh refugees without jobs as well. The situation in Armenia is serious and we desire to help as the Lord leads.
I will be in Armenia in November to share the gospel and deliver support. Refugees need food and clothing. Families need jobs and have asked us to help purchase dairy cows to support them. Medical supplies for the wounded are in short supply.
As in past years we will support widows and needy families in Kosovo with 3 months of winter firewood. Five hundred individual presents of warm blankets and bedding for sponsored families in Ukraine. ($25 ea) We also hope to supply 5-10 dairy cows for Armenia at approximately $1000 each. In lieu of the Winter Camp this year, at-risk young people in Ukraine will gather for special training seminars (sponsor now for $60).
We are so encouraged to see a large portion of our ministry now lead by former orphans, foster kids, and sponsored children who had no hope until Christ’s love broke through in their lives.
And thank you in advance for your support during this time of crisis for families in Armenia.
Sincerely, Jeff Thompson