I'm planning a trip to Russia in a few days.
Now, I've been to Russia a bunch of times, but from Cyprus. But this time I'm leaving from Pensacola-by-the-beaches and heading for Southern Russia near the Black Sea.
My Russian friend and “spiritual children,” Nicolai and Olga Markin, called and asked me to come especially to assist him and a group of Believers in establishing a house-church network in southern Russia. We met when he and Olga lived in frozen (literally!) Siberia. We have been very close over the years and his heart is to see simple, organic churches established wherever he is!
And he wants my input in laying the foundations.
So I’m planning to go. And it's a big challenge in many ways.
First... time. With Globe's IGM going right now, finding a time away is a biggie. But the schedule in the next few weeks permits me to be away. thanks to the speakers - and Phyllis and Rebekah - for holding things while I'm away.
Second... money. The two-week trip is around $4500 – above our regular expenses. So, if you'd be interesting in supporting this venture, you can do so here at Globe International. Just fill in all the blanks and put HATCHER in the "for."
Third... travel. I'm flying and in airports for 28 hours going over and 25 returning. Yikes! I'm tired already, just thinking about it. But I've arranged to fly into Sochi through Vienna rather than Moscow, so I'm thrilled.
Fourth... content. But I also want to have the right "input" in Nick and Olga and "their people." "Church" is such a delicate matter. And laying foundations of freedom and structures of grace are so important. And I would say especially so in Russia where so much has happened in the last decades. Good, bad and ugly.
So pray for us... I'm excited, but I go with fear and trembling.