The IFES ministry to students in Ukraine is growing, and adding to their numbers through outreach and conversion. A growing ministry is fueled by growing leaders, and this strategic conference addresses that need. I will lead Bible studies in leadership and help students to sit at the feet of Jesus for a few days to learn from his example and teaching on shepherding and servant leadership. I will also be with the staff of the Ukraine student movement next weekend, just before the conference, to talk with them about leadership development, again learning from Jesus' model about how to develop rather than use students. Ministry and leadership with IFES should be a gift to students, an opportunity for them to see God at work in their own lives in a vital way. Watching a student fall in love with loving, serving and leading others in Jesus' name is, apart from conversion to faith itself, one of the great joys of being in student ministry.
I was especially pleased to be invited back now. Five years ago Lisa and I went to Ukraine several times, and spent time helping Yulia, the new GenSec (senior leader of the IFES movement) and the staff there come around a renewed vision for the movement for the next five years. Recently, that young GenSec just stepped down from her leadership role, and a new leader, Misha (another Misha, which is Russian for "Mike") has been appointed as GenSec. I have a great deal of appreciation and affection for Misha, because he reminds me of myself in more than superficial ways. I look forward to getting to work more closely with him, at least during this next week, and potentially beyond that. Please pray for a good connection with Misha during my visit in Ukraine, and to listen to and serve him well as he leads to movement.
"Richard Lamb, Sketches of Leadership"
More Clarity about What is Next
While I have been in touch with people in Ukraine about my upcoming trip, Lisa has been communicating with a number of people in Malaysia, the Philippines, and elsewhere in Asia. As of now Lisa and I are planning to move out of our home by the end of June and to move to Malaysia, at least at first, expecting to teach two courses at a Bible College/Training Center near Kuala Lumpur for the month of July, and then for Lisa to teach her homiletics course at the Asian Theological Seminary in the Philippines in August. If you want to hear more about the process we've gone through to gain more clarity on where and why we are moving to Asia, please visit Lisa's latest post. We hope to be able to continue to invest in leadership development, in the context of the IFES work in Eurasia as well as in seminaries, training centers and with local church and ministry organizations, following our relational connections and going through doors as God gives us openings. We have are excited about the possibilities, but of course right now we are very aware of the losses, the dislocations, etc. If you have more questions, I encourage you to visit our blog. In general, more information is available at our blog, including our current understanding of our schedule in 2020.
You may well be asking, "Are you raising funds for this ministry?" The answer is yes. We will be raising funds, not just for the trip to Ukraine that starts in a few days, but for an annual budget that would support our salary, our regional airfare and other ministry expenses. Of course, we would like for each person who reads this letter to consider becoming a part of our prayer/support team, and we do hope to connect with you directly over the next couple of months. Please prayerfully consider it, and please do pray for my trip and for the ministry in Ukraine (and the country as a whole, which still suffers in its war with Russia). If you know you'd like to be a part of the team, please visit our donation page to make a donation today.
With gratitude and joy,
Rich and Lisa Lamb