If you’ve followed our adventures for any length of time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard us mention Sveta. Miki first met her in 2001 in an orphanage for disabled children – of which she was diagnosed with a “milder” disability. If you want some back story on Sveta and her life, check out some of our past newsletters on our blog or website. (Dec 07, Jan 08, Aug 09, Mar12)
Lets just say that Miki and I think she’s a miracle. While most of the people in her life have fallen away into depression, drugs, incarceration or death, somehow Sveta is still here. Very few orphans succeed after graduating out of the system, but here she is: living on her own, working a steady job and raising two daughters, Vika and Stephanie.
It hasn’t been easy. Sveta’s made mistakes along the way, for sure. One thing that she had going for her, however, was an aunt who was always present in her life. She helped Sveta during the down times, even taking her in during challenging periods. Another positive was our family’s presence in her life. Sveta has always kept up with us and made sure we knew how she was doing. We’ve celebrated birthdays, holidays and births together. And Sveta was never ashamed to ask for help when times got tough. We’ve fed her, clothed her, furnished her, moved her, prayed for her – whatever her and her two girls needed.
You know what this looks like? It looks like family.
At some point along the way these 12 years, Sveta changed from one of our “orphan projects” to simply one of our most dear sisters in Christ.
And just like your families, ours have grown. Now our visits to Sveta are even sweeter with her precious kids laughing and playing around our tea and conversation. I’ll admit that sometimes it can be overwhelming to think that I may be the only male presence in these little girls lives. As a parent with three kids of my own, I understand the importance of that. So when you’re there, you play a little longer, hug them a little tighter and try to give them some positive concept of men. How else would they ever learn to trust their “Father” in heaven?
- Pray for us
- Consider supporting us with a monthly, quarterly or one-time donation.
- If you already support us financially, please pass this message on to folks who you feel may want to support our work. Please advocate for us with your neighbors, co-workers, family and definitely your Sunday school classes and church!
- Charlie will need to travel to the US to do some fundraising early next year. Our whole family can’t afford to travel this time – plus Isabel is in school now, which makes scheduling travel more difficult. We need help with airfare costs. Many of you are business travelers and have lots of airline miles. Would you consider donating some towards a ticket for Charlie?
- Once Charlie’s in the states, he needs opportunities to speak to your church groups and missions boards. He’ll also need places to sleep while on the road. Can you help?
As we enter into this week of Thanksgiving, please know that we are thankful for each and every one of you. Not only have you blessed our family, but you’ve made a tremendous impact on the lives of at-risk kids in Russia for these last 12 years. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Kingdom!
Let us know how you’re doing, and may God bless you.
Charlie (and Miki, Isabel, Jasper and Celia)
Ways to donate to this ministry:
To make a donation by check: Send a check to the following address, noting “Chastain/Russia 322” in the memo:
The Mission Society
6234 Crooked Creek Road
Norcross, GA 30092
To make a donation by credit card or debit:
Go to our website: http://www.actsofadvocacy.org and click on “Give” to go to the Mission Society “donations” page.
To make a monthly pledge:
Either contact us via email or phone (678-436-3016) so that we can send you the appropriate documentation, or go to our website: http://www.actsofadvocacy.org and click on “Give” to go to the Mission Society “donations” page.