Another great trip… Thank you to our supporters!

Thank you so very much for the prayer and financial gifts you gave to support our ministry trip to Russia this year! It was a blessed and fruitful two weeks in countless ways. In addition, thank you for helping us get Classical Conversations (a classical, Christian, community based homeschool program) started in Russia which will provide an excellent curriculum option for many families. We were greatly blessed to spend time with the nine families meeting together in a ‘beta-community’. We also were able to do two information meetings and one ‘Windows into Challenge’ high school event in addition to the larger conference we hosted. This has opened a door for us to connect with many Orthodox families and begin a vital worldview discussion with them. Here are some pictures of those gatherings:

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Our family is constantly humbled and grateful that you would trust us to carry this important message to the believers in Russia and we covet your prayers for future decisions we will make regarding this important ministry.

 

I also want to say how incredibly proud I was of my four challenge students who served on this trip (two of which are my kids)!  They were a great blessing to many people and even were willing to model Socratic circles to give the Russian families a picture of how engaging highschool discussions can be!

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Team Time…

The Lord blessed us with a wonderful team of people on the trip this year.  The was so little conflict and everyone worked together quite well.  While it was a very fast paced trip. we still were able to have regular team time as we studied the book of Galatians together.  We also did a little bit of sight seeing together and enjoyed an overnight train to Moscow!  It was so beautiful to see the body of Christ come together and serve one another and i saw that on a daily basis with our team.

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Feedback from Conference Evaluations…

 

There is nothing more motivating to continue on with the ministry than the feedback we get after a conference…

 

“Thank you very much for organizing such an important conference. It was my first time here. There were a lot of useful and wise information. This conference has encouraged me for homeschooling. The power of this conference is in the fact that Jesus Christ is here the Lord, His truth is the priority. The teaching is very healthy. I want so much to homeschool my kids (3 sons and 1 daughter), I don’t think it will be harder than “pulling off the weeds of public school education”.  Me and my husband are Christians, we live in the city of Mogilyov (Belarus), it’s 400 thousand people and there are no homeschooling families in our city. It’s hard to be the first one to start. But it’s possible with God’s help. Glory to God that we met you and found out about homeschooling.  Come to us to Belarus and we will organize such conference with God’s help. I wish more people would know about such education way in my country.”

-With love from Mogilyoy, Belarus

 

“Words cannot describe how THANKFUL I am to the Lord for this conference! I enjoyed every bit of it like the sweetest treat from heaven! My only wish was to be able to be present at all of the workshops and seminars… but I could choose only certain ones))) I am so glad they recorded everything and I hope to watch the ones I couldn’t attend! Ever since I gave birth to my first child I have had a great burden on my heart  to pass my faith to him. The Lord gave me an idea to write 10 commandments for our home based on the 10 commandments of the Bible. Then I tried to unite parents in our church so that we could pursue that goal of teaching our kids to walk with God. As a result we established a weekly prayer. Many times I prayed alone, but I kept praying. Then suddenly in the beginning of August of 2016 I felt led by the Lord to start homeschooling my firstborn, who at that time had two years of government school experience that did not do him any good, but made him disconnected from me. The first three months of our ” homeschool” was a nightmare! I made all the possible and impossible mistakes one can make. My poor son… I still feel sorry for him. No wonder that he wanted to go back to school. At that time knowing in my heart that I do the right thing but being absolutely unprepared I felt so devastated, almost depressed… It was then that the Lord miraculously let me find out about the vk group that contained the recordings     Of the previous conferences. I learned about other successful homeschooling parents like Oksana Ageeva, Ludmila Whitman and your family. It was like fresh water to me!!! I received so much encouragement and inspiration!

I am so thankful that the Lord gave my husband the same heart for homeschooling. He was all the time very supportive. That’s why when we learned about this particular conference we made it a priority in our calendar and came all 5 of us! I had no idea how I would be able to participate with an always wiggling busy toddler, but the Lord took care of that too and I was able to hear him speak to me and rekindle my heart and spirit!

During this conference while I was listening to the speakers, homeschool graduates and parents I got more and more reassured that I was led by the Lord and it was not a mistake or emotional desire to homeschool. IT WAS TOTALLY GOD’S IDEA! Not mine!  I kept hearing in my heart behind all the words that I listened too: I WIRED YOU this way, so that you COULD homeschool! Oh, how dependent it makes me on Him because there is so little I know or can do on my own. Then as Danny Craig shared his message on life’s calling and then he sang that famous hymn, I sat all tearful because I prayed and said to God that I wanted to raise my son to be like this, to have the same eternally minded perspective on life like he does…   It all was possible because you were obedient to God! What a treasure you are in the Kingdom of God and to our family! Thank you SO MUCH!!!  We love you and bless you!!!”

-Olya Blagoeva  from Ivanovo, Russia

 

 

“About a year ago me and my wife met Scott and Andie, when they came for couple days to visit our church in the town of Luga (100 miles out of St. Petersburg) and told us about an option of homeschooling. It was an answer from God for us, we were already talking about it in our family – we were not satisfied with public school education.  Two month after that our older son Egor finished 3rd grade and we pulled him out of school. We also took our younger son out of the kindergarten. Because of you we have changed our life radically and we are so HAPPY.  Thank you very much for the opportunities to meet and grow because of your experience. I praise God for you!”

-Dasha from Luga, Russia

 

 

“Thank you very much for organizing the conference. It’s already the third time I come, and it’s a great encouragement and training for me personally. All the main speakers were super, especially Israel Wayne and Michael Donnelly.  Thank you that you were open to my questions and included topics I mentioned earlier. Especially that there were a lot of training about preschoolers. Every conference God reveals me a lot through speakers and changes my family. May God bless you all.”                                                                                                         – Anonymous

We made it and the conference has begun…

Our whole team has arrived safely and we are done with our first day of the conference.  It was a sweet reunion with dear Russian friends. Enjoy these shots from our travels and the start of the conference…

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We also are helping out with the Children’s program that allows many of the parents to attend the conference without distraction.  We had about 50 kids and a great team of Russians to help! Here are a few shots from that!

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Classical Conversations in Russia??

You may have heard of the organization Classical Conversations. Classical Conversations supports homeschooling parents by cultivating the love of learning through a Christian worldview in fellowship with other families. And there are over 100,000 students enrolled world wide! Our family has been blessed to be a part of this organization for the past 4 years and it has been a tremendous support to our discipleship efforts towards our children. Before them I had been a ‘lone-ranger homeschooler’ and was growing weary after a decade of trying to make it on my own. Classical Conversations provided the community our family deeply needed and breathed new life into our homeschool efforts.

Over the past seven years as we have ministered in Russia, we have been saddened to see the lack of curricula options coming from a Biblical worldview. Basically, Russian homeschool families have about as much to choose from as American families did in 1980, which isn’t much. Thankfully, there is a couple in Moscow that has been working very hard to translate the CC Foundations guide into Russian, changing out all the Cycle 3 history sentences with Russian history and all the geography for Russian geography. This will be an incredibly valuable gift to the hundreds of Russian families who are seeking help with their homeschooling. There is already a beta-community meeting made of all nationals. This is especially encouraging as many overseas communities are made up of Americans living overseas but this is an indigenous community!

Our trip in just a few weeks will be a tremendous encouragement in the effort to promote CC in Russia. We will meet with groups in both St. Petersburg and Moscow. I am thankful to be bringing 4 Challenge 1 students along so they can share their perspective on receiving a biblical, classical education. Please consider supporting this effort in both prayer and finances!

A New Year’s Gift for Your Family

We are well into 2017 and trying to process how fast the last year went by! For so many families, it seems as though the days pass by quicker than we can keep up with them. Discipleship-minded parents desire to be intentional with each day, knowing that we will not have the blessing to have our children under our roof forever. In order to make the days count, we have a little resource that we use to evaluate the previous year and set some goals for the new one to come. I encourage you to fill out this paper with each of your kids. You could make it a date and do it one-on-one or you could just make a evening of it and do it all together. When they are done, snap a picture of it and save it on your phone and use it for further conversations with your child throughout the year. May this simply be one more resource to help you as you seek to draw your children closer to the Cross. Click on the link below to download:

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Plans underway for a February 2017 conference…

The last few weeks have been really exciting with many developments for the next Family Discipleship conference in St. Petersburg. It will be a three day event and we have a excellent speaker lineup. God seems to have put together a great team of people to help with the administration of this event and we look forward to seeing His provision as we begin to raise money for the event. Please pray about how God might want you to be involved in this time in history in Russia!

Exciting News…

For the past few years we have been in close contact with the fine people at Home School L eagle Defense Association. A few years back, Scott had the privilege of traveling to Moscow with Mike Donnelly to Moscow to attend an international Forum called ‘Large family and the future of humanity’. This was concurrent with the World Congress of the Family conference. HSLDA has noticed the work of God in Russia and they have decided to choose Russia as the location for their 2018 Global Home Education Conference. Check out these links for more info!

http://ghec2018.org/

https://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2016/201609290.asp

The New Law Restricting Religious Freedom in Russia

In July of 2016, Putin signed of on a law that restricts all evangelism outside of registered churches. The “Yarovaya package” requires missionaries to have permits, makes house churches illegal, and limits religious activity to registered church buildings, among other restrictions. Individuals who disobey could be fined up to $780, while organizations could be fined more than $15,000. Many have asked us if that law will affect the work we are able to do in Russia. After speaking with many trusted sources in Russia, we do not believe this will hinder the calling we have to serve in Russia. In fact, these laws are written in such a way that they may do more damage to the Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, and Islamic proselytizers in the country.

While the relations between Russia and the US may be getting colder, we are confident that the safest place for any believer is squarely in the center of God’s will so these current events do not cause us to be more concerned for our safety but only serve to remind us of the sovereignty of God in His dealings with the nations of the earth…

The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.
Psalm 103:19