Ukraine Update #1


Greetings from 35,000 feet somewhere over the Atlantic. I’m on my way to Amsterdam and then on to Kiev for the annual gathering of our global leaders.

But this year’s conference is going to be very different for several reasons, and we need your prayers each day.

  1. Rich Leland will be leading his first global gathering since becoming our VP for International Ministries last fall. Many of our global leaders already know Rich as he has led many trainings all over the world in the past three decades. He’s off to a great start, but this week will be yet another test of his leadership. Please pray specifically for him.

  2. Instead of our usual group of 30-40 country directors, we will only meet with our regional directors. We’ve divided the world into 11 regions including North America. 10 men and women have agreed to function in a new role of regional director. Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is currently vacant due to Wahid’s transition. Each of these 10 leaders is excited about their new role and responsibilities. Working with a smaller group will allow us to focus more on strategic planning, curriculum development, and financial stewardship for our global ministry.

  3. This will be Yuri Shelestun’s final conference leading our ministry in Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Eurasia. He and Natasha will be immigrating to the US as soon as their application is accepted. His father already lives in North America and his health is not good. Plus two of Yuri and Natasha’s kids live in the States. Boris Volkov (who some of you met at last year’s Live the Word conference) has been groomed to replace Yuri and is already leading well. And yet, this change will be emotionally tough for all of us. Yuri is a truly special leader and one of the best friends I’ve ever had. He will continue to teach our materials in many US Russian-speaking churches and I’m pleased that this is one of the best leadership transitions our ministry has ever experienced.

Rich LelandYuri and NatashaKiev 1Kiev 2

Our team and I will be sending daily updates and prayer requests. This is my final big trip before my hip replacement on May 16, so please pray for less pain and no distraction from our important work this week.

As always, your prayers and notes of encouragement mean a lot to our entire team. I’ll share your responses with our leaders as the week unfolds. Thank you!

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Debbie Millette 17.04.2019 23:52  
Praying Yes No   God's blessings on this ministry and your meetings in the Ukraine. I will be praying for the transitions. Isn't God amazing as He raises up people in the right place at the right time! I will also be praying for a successful surgery - for you, for the doctors doing the surgery, for the staff caring for you during your recovery, and for the PT that will get you back on your feet again and also for Ellen as she walks with you.  
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Doris Jacob 15.04.2019 08:32  
Ukraine trip Yes No   Hello Phil,
So glad to pray for you each day of your trip. May God open many doors and cause you not to have too much pain. I will also be praying for your surgery on May 16 and subsequent recovery. God bless your ministry! 7cvfw
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