Our short-term mission trip team, from Maltby Christian Assembly, leaves early this morning for Kursk, Russia. I have asked, periodically over the next few days, that numerous teammates share their experiences during the duration of our trip. The first of these entries will be shared by our church’s global missions director. Donna Bishop has loved the people of Russia and the compassion ministry of “Alone No More” for almost too many years to count. Here are some of her thoughts going into our departure:
Why do you love the people of Russia so much?
My love for the Russians comes from their deep ‘Russian Soul’. Winston Churchill said this about Russia, “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”, and I think that best explains the mystery and depth of the average Russian. Russians have had a long sometimes dark history but remain resilient. In spite of their centuries of oppression, they remain open to engage Americans about culture, politics, and spiritual things. Therein lies the opportunity of many lifetimes.
Why are you so excited for the students of MCA to go?
The primary symbol of hope to the Russian soul and culture is children. I would like the orphans and the Russian youth to see young Americans serving others. Unfortunately, our youth have a reputation of being self absorbed and immature. This team is not like that and I know the Russians will have a much better understanding of American youth through this team’s work.
What do you hope/expect to take place?
My hope is that this experience will allow the youth to see themselves as part of a larger community of Christ followers working together to bring orphans hope of a faith filled, productive life. I would hope that the Russians will see our American youth as caring, loving, and encouraging people. I know this will be a trip of a life time for all of us.
How can people pray for the team?
I would ask for protection for our team, considering the condition of the world. I would like prayer for each team member to form friendships with their interpreters, youth from the Russian church community, and at least one or two orphans. These relationships will enrich both Russians and Americans. Please pray that we will bring encouragement to the Russian orphanage volunteers, the orphanage Directors and workers. A team has been going to Kursk for 6 years, which is about 3 years longer than the average American charity. I would like prayer for each student to have a life changing encounter with Christ as they minister in His name and that this experience will last them a life time.