Update From our Missionaries
Dear ministry partners,
Thank you for your ongoing support, prayers, words of encouragement, calls and notes! It means a lot and reminds us that we are not standing alone.
You prayed for us when Sasha had a rare complication of his tooth removal that ended with the tooth in his sinus. He went to the US where our friend arranged a surgery to remove it. The surgery went really well, he healed without any problems and came back feeling completely well. Thanks again to all of you who prayed for Sasha and me.
We met and befriended a couple here, they are not believers, they have a daughter the same age as Elijah. It was great to get to know them and to develop our relationship. A couple of weeks ago we found out that they are on the verge of divorce. She took their daughter and left to a neighboring country quite unexpectedly, but Sasha was able to meet and council and encourage the guy. We are hoping and praying that this situation and relationship with Sasha and his openness to hear what Sasha had to tell him will somehow lead him to Christ. It would be nice to be able to stick around a bit longer now that he is hurting. Please pr-y that our time away will not affect this relationship.
Things at the clinic go well. Our patient population continues to grow, both me and Sasha are seeing patients now and our practices grow. We feel so privileged and blessed to be able to help people with their medical issues, but also to be able to address some of the soul or spiritual problems as well. Some patients come and at the end of encounter say: It’s the first time somebody even listened to me!! Another lady came with a folder about an inch thick with all the tests and studies results and after the visit she admitted that “it was the first time somebody (a doctor) even examined her”! People are grateful to be pra-yed for, both believers and non-believers.
The recruitment of new residents for the clinic started looking a bit more optimistic too. It seems like we have a couple of candidates for a new training class. Both of them are from outside of Kazakhstan (which means it will take a while – up to 6 mo) to get Kazakh medical license and all the paperwork to be able to work here. It also means they and their families will have to move to Almaty and rent a place to stay. This is a big pra-er request: that G-d will send the right people and provide all the financial and logistical needs.
Pregnancy is going well, our baby is due in mid-Sept. We were able to get our American visas without any problems and on Jul 27 we are going to Tulsa. We are really looking forward to our time at In His Image and opportunities to shadow physicians there and teach and just share our experience with others. We will not be able to work there or see patients on our own because of the visa restrictions. Sasha will continue to lead the clinic in Almaty from the States using via Internet. Please pray that this experiment works and goes well.
Again, we appreciate you and your involvement in our lives and ministry.
Sasha, Irina, Anya, Elijah and still nameless Baby #3.
Arizona Pain Specialists Foundation supports Doctors Sasha and Irina missionary
Doctors Sasha and Irina were were born and raised in Kazakhstan, when it was still part of the Soviet Union. They finished medical school in their home country. Both became followers of Jesus through missionaries in mid-90s. They came to the United States in 2005 to be trained in family medicine. Their residency in the United States, In His Image Family practice residency program, has a strong emphasis on short-term and long-term missions. After they finished their three-year training, they felt God was calling them to return to Kazakhstan to be His witnesses in this Muslim/atheistic society. They and their two young children returned last summer and are currently working at a training clinic, teaching local physicians Western standards of family medicine. They are also sharing the gospel with their coworkers. The residents at the clinic see patients, but they have allocated time for formal medical and spiritual teaching. Their vision is to enable their coworkers spiritually and medically to go into the world to reach the unreached. This type of training clinic is unique in the entire Central Asia.
They really appreciate all who partner with them in this ministry.
Arizona Pain Specialists Foundation supports several missionary.
Ken serves as President of the Board for Thin Blue Line Ministries International As Founder and President he has traveled across the world many times working extensively with police, military and government officials and is working with the Honduran government to restore relationships between authorities and the community. Ken has been invited by the Honduran congress to sit in session and help them establish laws to protect women and children from slavery, sexual exploitation and violence. His counseling materials have been published by the Honduran government and used to teach and train police officers. He is recognized internationally as a speaker and authority in biblical counseling specifically in Latin America. In Nicaragua he is a radio and T.V. spokesperson for counseling and is known in radio as “The Late Night Voice of Nicaragua”. To Learn more about Ken Hodgeson and TBLM Int’l please go to www.myTBLM.com
I went to visit the Crossroads Nogales Mission recently – researching possible locations for our medical outreach program. Located on the border of Nogales, AZ and Nogales, Sonora in Northern Mexico, this mission is incredible in its ability to meet the needs of so many with so little.
According to their website: http://www.crossroadnewlifecenter.org they fed over 35,000 individuals last year alone. This is all done within the walls of building that is over 90 yrs old, and with a staff of less than 5 people on most days. Started by Ben and Bert Wenke in 1995 they meet a host of community needs including the management of 4 shelters, 5 programs for men and women, a Domestic Violence Shelter for women and children, Holiday meals, Bible Clubs for children 5 times a year and a Community Lunch Program for the poor.
They also have a daily church service which is taught by different ministers every day from the community. They provide food, clothing, shelter, spiritual guidance, and protection for anyone who is in need and comes to their door. Ben Wenke was previously ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, but he states that was “many years ago in my previous life.” In 1995 God called him to Nogales where he lived in the mission with his wife Bert for the first 8 years they were in Nogales. Ben says “when you’re working with the poor and homeless you quickly lose any allegiance to one denomination or the other. It’s all about doing the work of God, not whether you’re Baptist or Methodist.” I can tell you after spending a day with this couple that God’s spirit moves in this mission and the work they are doing will last for eternity. If you feel led you can give donations directly on their website listed above. We are in discussions with the mission about how we can set up a medical and dental clinic within their mission in the future – so if you’d like to be involved with that just email us or call the clinic.
Faith Outreach for Christ
Victor and Kay Hoehn of Faith Outreach for Christ live in Rio Rico, AZ where they are semi-retired teachers. However, their hearts lies in the streets of Nogales, Sonora just minutes a way and yet a world apart. They teach classes in Mexico three nights a week and are involved with seven different churches where they describe there work as the “helps ministry.” This drastically under-estimates the impact these two kind souls have on the people of Nogales, Sonora.<!–more–>
Victor spent many years working in a salvage yard in Phoenix, AZ. He now uses those skills to help the churches in the Faith Outreach for Christ network. On some days he and his wife cross the border multiple times to bring things from the U.S. that the different churches need. He owns a century-card which allows him to cross quickly without having to wait in lines for up to three hours to get back into the states. Victor and Kay have been ministering in Northern Mexico for 25 years and are bilingual.
During the day I spent with them they took me to 3 different churches and a new site forone of the churches. Victor who calls himself”a Gideon”, witnessed to between 5 and 10 people during the time we spent together, handing out bibles and proclaiming the good news in spanish and english. His affable nature disarmed people, and his outgoing personality made him a born evangelist. Still he claims he is not a minister but merely in the “helps ministry.”
During my day in Nogales I also met Tony Gonzalez (not the football player) who is the president of Faith Outreach for Christ. He is a minister at one of the churches and supports all seven through their organization. Pastor Gonzalez encouraged me that if we wanted to come to Nogales and set up medical and dental clinics they could easily put out the word to all seven churches and to the communities of each church. He related to me that when a church came before with several doctors, so many people showed up for medical care that they had to hand out numbers and bring many back on different days. If you are interested in getting involved in medical outreach trips to Nogales, Sonora just email us or call and we’ll get you more information.