A New Year, A New Season,
A New Vision
Just as the leaves change from their summer splendor to their glowing autumnal hues so is the ministry in Moscow undergoing a change. We reached 90 by '09 and we’ve pursued radical discipleship, now it’s time to look ahead to 2020.
This past summer the Moscow Metro Team undertook several research projects in an effort to look into solutions to the various roadblocks we were coming up against in the ministry.
For example, how do we effectively reach a post-Christian, post-modern urbanized 18-year-old with the timeless truth and necessity of the Gospel? How do we convince students that the training we give them to reach their friends and classmates is worth traveling across town, after classes and in the cold and rain? How do we help establish God’s kingdom come in Moscow? Have we been accurately teaching our disciples that they need the King (evangelism and discipleship) and also thekingdom (serving the least of these)?
After time spent in prayer and contemplation coupled with the inspiration from our National Leadership Team to trust God for Kingdom-sized dreams by the year 2020 we sat down to lay out a plan for the next several years. The result has us hoping in God for big things and motivating us to continue to work hard on behalf of the students of Moscow.
Our mission, vision and values remain the same as they have been for the last several years. We are here "to participate in the building of the Kingdom of God by actively engaging students with the Gospel through the pursuit of life-changing discipleship.” The vision is to see “movements of Christ-centered communities on each campus in Moscow led by students whose lives are being transformed by the Gospel.”
I don’t know about you but considering that there are more than 200 universities and colleges in Moscow and more than 1 million students, that mission statement feels like asking me to begin climbing Mt. Everest from my armchair – it’s going to take a while and I don’t know where to begin.
Thankfully after a lot of prayer, discussion and dreaming God led us toward some ideas that we think will help us get there. Instead of immediately going for movements everywhere we are going to start by launching a single movement somewhere. It is our goal that by the end of the year the one university that we are focusing on will have 3 – 5 students who are Christians who want to begin multiplying their lives spiritually. The next year we hope to solidify those students into a leadership team that will focus on reaching their classmates. By 2016 it is our prayer that this university will become a “model movement”. This will be the model for other universities in the city to emulate in their own unique way. Four years later, by 2020, we hope to see 5 movements of university students around the city.
What is a movement? It is more than a ministry, it is when students own the idea of reaching their university as their own, when they are leading their friends and colleagues to Christ and then training those friends to go and do the same. It is a community where people grow in their faith, influence their community for good and bear the torch as leaders of the next generation.
Please pray with us toward this end.
People Come, People Go
(the good-bye party for Chris and Liz)
One of the constants in our ministry is that people come and people go. Our dear leaders and friends, Chris and Liz Lawson, left Moscow this past month. After 10 years of faithful service in Moscow God has led the Lawsons toward a new field of ministry. They will serve with Cru’s Boston Metro team beginning in the winter of 2013. They leave a legacy of innovation, faith and sincerity that will be sorely missed by all who knew and labored with them. While we are sad to see them go we are excited for them and the new adventures that lay ahead.
Two weeks after Chris and Liz (and their two children and 8 suitcases) boarded a plane US-bound, Zach, our
new STINTer, disembarked for a year long stint here. Zach is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota who studied Russian language and culture. He is a welcomed and much-prayed for addition to our team. He is also a brave soul: he’s the first and only STINTer Russia has had since 2009.
We welcomed him with a big dinner, followed by a big breakfast then a big bike ride around the city and then an even bigger dinner that night. We are excited for the unique gifts and capabilities that Zach has and is already bringing to our ministry. We know that the Lord has called just the right people to join our team at this particular time in Moscow's student ministry history, we eagerly await God's work in and around us - for such a time as this!
Pray With Us!
"The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." - James 5:16.
- Praise God that the students who trusted Christ this past summer are still involved with us and are growing in their faith.
- Praise God that our summer research projects were fruitful and that God has given us some great ideas to pursue for not only this year but for the next several years to come.
- Praise Him for the newest member of
our team, Zach!
-Pray that God would grant us favor at the univerisities where we are trying to establish a more formal partnership and where we are trying to reach the next generation of leaders.
-Pray as well for the Fifth-year (Seniors) at the Linguistics university. They are finishing their time as undergraduates and want to leave a legacy of prayer and influence among the underclassmen. Pray that they would be able to establish a regular prayer time and would be able to reach out to their classmates effectively.
-Pray that God would raise up more laborers for the Moscow team in the future and that we would trust him for the good works he has already prepared for us.