My Mission Trip to Russia

Very soon I will doing the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and I am asking family & friends to be my partners in it.

Over the past 18 months, God has been stretching personally and professionally more than any other time in my life. At work I launched a project that took over a year to complete, and it’s no exaggeration to say that there were many moments during that time when I felt like I had given my all and had nothing left to give. It was in those moments that God reminded me that He’s equipped me to accomplish things I wouldn’t have thought possible, which inspired me to take the plunge and start writing the book that I’ve been wrestling with for the past five years. In very practical ways, God has been inviting me to experience new kinds of adventures with Him.

Against this backdrop I’ll be part of a mission team from Gateway Community Church in Austin going to Russia this summer to work with teenagers from the city of Volgograd. For the past few years, Christ the Savior Church in Volgograd has hosted a summer camp that serves two purposes: 1) helping teens develop their English skills through interaction with native English speakers, and 2) introducing young people to Jesus in a more personal way. I’ll be responsible for leading a drama activity each day for a small group of the kids, which I’m really excited about because I love to ham it up and express myself through drama. We’ll be in Russia for two weeks, leaving Austin on July 28.

Nearly three-fourths of Russians identify themselves with the Russian Orthodox Church, but the majority of them rarely attend a local church. There are very few Protestant or evangelical churches like Christ the Savior in Russia. After decades of living under an atheistic regime, the Russian people are still learning what it means to live out their faith in their everyday lives, so by building into the next generation, this church and its partners around the world are beginning a process of cultural transformation, through the power of the Gospel, one willing heart at a time.

I am inviting you to be a part of my mission team through one or both of these critical roles:

1. Please commit to praying for me and the rest of the team. Pray for our growth as a team, that each of us will seize opportunities to use our gifts and skills to make an impact, and for strength and safety while we’re away from our home and loved ones. Please pray in the weeks ahead and throughout the trip, until we are home on August 11.
2. Not everyone can go on a mission trip, but many people participate in mission trips by supporting those who are sent. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help cover the cost of my trip, which is $3000 USD (includes airfare, lodging and meals).

If you would like to participate, you can give online at www.gatewaychurch.com/goteams; just click on the “GIVE” link. If you prefer to send a check, please send me your mailing address and I will send you a SASE made out to Gateway. Please let me know if you will be supporting me by July 15.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my story, and for considering being a part of my team. This will be my second mission trip through Gateway, and having a network of family & friends supporting me on this trip makes it a lot easier to step into the unknown. I can’t wait to see how God shows up among and through us. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions you may have.

Jae

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