Dear Friends, Seasons Greetings!
Its been a tremendous blessing for our family to be in the United States. We have enjoyed the freedom to worship with our brothers and sisters.
In the past year we have faced tremendous challenges for our ministry in Russia, because of the political climate and increased persecution of Christians.
I would like to share some of the challenges we have faced in 2008. As we have pursued God’s calling and purpose to share the Gospel with our people, and help the most helpless ones, our economy like yours has taken a hit. In the changes occurring in our government, we have continued to be blessed with favor from our Lord. Our needs are many, and as we see the orphans continue to grow up faster than we can help, our hearts cannot look away. These are our children, the hope and future of Russia. We are determined to continue to help as God provides. We thank you for sharing in this work.
In spite of the challenges we have accomplished great things together with God. The property was purchased for the farm, which will benefit the orphans, provide training in agricultural activities, providing both future employment and self reliance for these young people. The property consists of eleven and a half acres of rich farmland. We have already planted a garden, and thirty fruit trees. We have a plan for constructing the first building as a place for the orphans and volunteers to stay while out on the farm. The orphans, especially the older ones, are so enthusiastic some have even asked if they may stay at the farm and work after they graduate.
Our weekly outreach to the orphans is both evangelical and an avenue to present life skills. We are teaching young people how to make healthy lifestyle choices, and promote positive long term behavior change. The unique issues that these young people face also require special education such as how to avoid sexual abuse.
The Bookstore at the Mall is doing great! The computers have continued to be a great draw for the young people. It is a place where we meet the young people, build relationships and share Christ.
The College Ministry continues as a weekly time of. Our Group has celebrated its first year successfully. This group represents the most committed among our students. We have great hope and vision for the student ministry as a large part of our outreach.
I want to thank everyone for praying for Tanya. At the time of her mothers passing she really needed prayer. She has handled everything like a champion, but the hurts of life are real. Tanya is doing very well now and appreciates all your concern and prayers.
We are excited that this year was very fruitful. Our hope and prayer is to continue faithfully in the work God has given. We hope to take every opportunity that is possible to expand and increase the Kingdom of God. We truly appreciate and that you for your support, as friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, we could not continue without your help. Your financial support is essential to the welfare of these young people, their lives truly depend on you.
Our financial goal at this point is to raise 68,000.00 which will cover outstanding debts and the entire budget for 2009. This is extremely modest for the work God has enabled us to do. To put it simply, the Gospel is our life and your giving is the food, clothing, transportation and more, that we can offer along with the love of Christ and the message of God’s love, grace and salvation. We are stretched for resources, time, emotional, extra hands, and these are things that you, our supporters can’t give, but its your gifts that make it possible for us be the hands and feet of Jesus to our people.
This year we are asking for your special gifts, monthly or one time gifts. We ask that you would truly consider a little child, cold, hungry, lonely and afraid, and give within the means that God has provided for you to do so. This is not a “story” …it is the reality of life, it is as real as your next breath, and it was Jesus who taught us that “whatsoever you do to the least of these, that you do unto me”.
Spasibo Ogromnoe. Thank you VERY MUCH,
Alexei and Tanya Kotchan