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Pioneering ministry in Eastern Europe

Karen and I are vacationing in the Caribbean now and then will be heading to Romania for a debrief with our World Racers. What’s great about the World Race is that the whole trip is a discovery process in which you deepen your knowledge of God, yourself, and the world around you. So, there’s room…
By Seth Barnes
Karen and I are vacationing in the Caribbean now and then will be heading to Romania for a debrief with our World Racers. What’s great about the World Race is that the whole trip is a discovery process in which you deepen your knowledge of God, yourself, and the world around you. So, there’s room to learn and grow – both for the missionaries and for those of us at AIM who are still trying new things. For the Racers, this learning often happens in the context of an adventure  like the one that Stephanie Fisk is on with her travel companions. She gives the following travel report below:

For the past two weeks, I (and two other
girls) have been braving the cold and trekking across the frozen steppe
that used to be part of the Soviet Union not too long ago: Ukraine…

 

We
started off in Kiev, the capital and made our way by train to the
Ukrainian/Russian border.  Now we are in Odessa, which is located on
the Black Sea.  Tomorrow morning we take a bus to Moldova.  A week
later, we push on to Romania. 

This month has been amazing – the
company, the friends we’ve been blessed with along
the way, and our ministry contacts and all the others who have
stepped in with a helping hand to fill the gaps of my Russian or
post-Communist knowledge! This month, I am on a scouting mission.

In April and
May around 80 racers will be partaking in ministry in Romania, Moldova,
Ukraine and Hungary.  This is the first time the World Race has visited
Eastern Europe.  So, Team Pioneer is forging on ahead of time, meeting
with potential World Race partners, and loving every minute of it!
 

…Social orphans are a huge ‘problem’ in this country.  If the
mother chooses to leave her baby or kid with the government, due to
lack of motherly care, alcoholism, poverty, or just plain doesn’t want
it, she can.  Just like that and the child is the governments
responsibility. 


So, there are hundreds of orphanages (or boarding
schools) across Ukraine that house and school both true orphans and
social orphans.  The sticky thing is that the mom can come back into
their life at any time and take the child back. 
 
We got to visit a hospital one day. The mom left this
little one behind and he already lives in an orphanage but was here for
health reasons.  Below: Also, one day we had the opportunity to visit
an orphanage that was located closer to the Belarus border.  About 150
kids fending mainly for themselves.  
 

One of the biggest needs at these orphanages is
life skills training.  During Communist years, family was downplayed
and society was the main focus.  Now, take away the society and you’ve
got a lot of people who do not know how to be a family.  Basic
mothering classes, cooking and gardening classes, etc are in huge
demand!
 
For more about the World Racers’ adventures in Eastern Europe, visit the website or keep following this blog (you can subscribe here). Also, you can look at the next World Race route (which also happens to go to Romania, by the way) and see if you have what it takes to join the Race.

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