As you probably have gathered from my blog, I have a passion for encouraging and supporting pastor’s wives. But now God is doing something new! He is allowing me to be a part of encouraging and supporting pastor’s wives OUTSIDE of the United States! When I first became a pastor’s wife back in 1997 I thought that I was the only one who struggled with particular issues. Seventeen years later I’m learning that most pastor’s wives in all types of situations face similar struggles- and the pastor’s wives in Russia are no different: they struggle with feelings of isolation and inadequacy; they worry about finances, pleasing people, and raising children in ministry; and they desire to serve God and support their husbands in any way they can. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Of course, a few details are different. In Russia most pastors are bi-vocational since churches traditionally do not employ full-time workers. Though the government is no longer communist, it is not extremely supportive of non-Orthodox churches. That means most of these pastors & their families deal with lots of red tape and bureaucracy with regards to their buildings, events, and plans. The communities in which these pastors minister have a 60% alcoholism rate among adults and over 50% of deaths that occur in ages 15-54 are believed to be caused by alcohol. The pastors in Bryansk do a lot of ministry in the areas of rehabilitation and counseling for families in both their churches and their communities.
This summer I will be visiting Bryansk, Russia with my husband and father-in-law! One of my main ministries will be to connect with these hard-working pastor’s wives in order to share some encouragement with them and help them get connected with one another in order to form their own network of support and encouragement. A fellow pastor’s wife, Olga, is allowing me to use her home to hold an American tasting party for the pastor’s wives in the area. I will share some of my favorite American treats with them, and we will spend time talking about the things we have in common as pastor’s wives. My hope is that they will come away refreshed and encouraged, and that we will be able to build relationships with one another that will sustain us all as we return to our home ministries.
You can help make this important ministry to pastor’s wives in Russia happen by donating money for our travel expenses and ministry costs. You can donate by sending a check to PO Box 188, Spottsville, KY 42458 or by clicking the DONATE button here:
You can also help by praying for specific needs and events as the time of our trip approaches. Leave your e-mail address in the comments section on this page and I will send you regular prayer updates for this mission.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support! I’m looking forward to being a part of what God is doing in Russia!
PS- Please pray specifically for the political situation in this area! It is near the border between Russia & the Ukraine and many of our friends are affected by the turmoil between these two governments.