News from the USA

Our time in the States is coming to an end. Olga and Valerie went to Russia on Monday and I will go to Russia tomorrow. This has certainly been a bittersweet visit. It has been great to see so many family and friends, and Mom’s funeral went as well as anyone could hope. After the funeral service in Georgia we had a grave-side service at a family plot in Tennessee. It is remarkable how many and varied people loved my mother, and many thought of her as a second mother. She leaves a good legacy.

We are very thankful for all the love and support that has been shown to us in so many ways.

On the trip to Tennessee, I let Valerie do some driving in the very parking lot where I practiced driving when I was 15 years old. She did a good job and had a great time.

val-driving-004

While in the USA, we’ve had great time with our many friends in the Athens area. It’s also been a blessing to be with my Dad, helping him in his transition to a new chapter in life. Everything is good.

Much awaits us overseas. Between now and the end of the summer we will be quite busy. Soon, we’ll welcome a team and run a camp for single mothers at Camp Elama. Olga will lead a small team on our first mission trip to Moldova, and I’ll have a first visit, and deliver some aid, to a church Western Ukraine that is ministering to refugees from the war in Eastern Ukraine. I’ll also meet with our three interns in Estonia and later serve with a team in Montenegro.

I had to leave my car in Montenegro when I flew to the States. I’ll drive it home at the end of July, with visits to Serbia,  Ukraine and possibly Romania. Sadly, the air conditioning on the car broke the day before I left Montenegro; I need to get that fixed pronto since Montenegro will be HOT in July. It’s always something . . . . .

Stoneworks continues to grow and bear good fruit. (You can read the most recent Stoneworks newsletter here. ) We also face various trials and challenges, which is quite normal for life in ministry. Just a few days ago we discovered that thieves have been using counterfeit checks on our account, buying items from Craigslists all around the country. Thankfully we caught it quickly and haven’t lost any money. So, we’ve closed our bank account and are opening new accounts. Time consuming and frustrating.

It’s always good to face hardships of various kinds because it helps us develop perseverance, and if we embrace perseverance then we’ll be better people, not lacking anything.

Onward!

This Makes Me Happy

Here’s a great example what gives me joy and of how Stoneworks helps –

Last month Olga Gonchrenko, our director in Belarus, posted this as part of her update:

wheelchair 300x224 The Heart of MinistryWe were given 2 wheelchairs that were a great blessing to 2 women who were in great need for the chairs. Valentina, the first woman, got into a car accident 2.5 years ago. She can’t move her lower part of the body, she lives all by herself and she is praying for a computer, so that she can keep in contact with the outside world as well as work part time on the computer.

One of our supporters, Erin, was touched and gave money to purchase a computer for Valentina. Erin’s Bible study class gave money to pay for the first year of internet service (which is very considerate).

november 201 011 300x218 The Heart of MinistryTo me, this is an excellent example of how the Lord uses living stones (1 Peter 2:5), the body of Christ, to express His love to those in need.

Several people in the Stoneworks family fulfilled their roles; Mary Jean Preece, the Stoneworks Administrator, handled the transaction well, Olga Goncharenko guided the ministry, others posted news on the website and in the newsletter, and Valentina’s prayers have been answered.

And perhaps best of all, Valentina and Erin (with the help of Google Translate) are now in direct communication.

november 201 008 The Heart of Ministry

New Faces, New Places

I (Mike) am going through a transition as I take over the role of Executive Director of Stoneworks.  Here’s a note we sent to people connected with Stonework, MIR and ourselves.

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A note from Dave Hulley —

dh.jpgIt is hard to believe that in December Stoneworks International will celebrate its fifth birthday! During these years God has enabled us to minister in many fruitful ways, including working in camps and orphanages and maintaining relationships with a
group of children as they moved into adulthood. We have had several short term and longer term workers, in a variety of programs. You can read more about the programs on our website, www.stoneworksint.org/.

I am happy to announce we have been blessed with some personnel changes which will aid us in our future ministry. Michael Cantrell, Director of MIR in Russia, and a Stoneworks Board member, has agreed to take over my responsibilities as Executive Director. Mike is quite experienced and he needs almost no new training to move effectively into his new role.

We are also welcoming Mary Jean Preece as  Administrator. She will take over many of the behind the scenes functions I have performed. Mary Jean is capable and experienced, but most importantly, she feels a calling to serve the Lord by serving orphans and children in Russia and elsewhere. Welcome Mike and Mary Jean!

“Where am I going?” you may ask. I plan to remain very involved in the work of Stoneworks as Chairman of the Board of Directors. For the near future I will also remain as special liaison to the work in Belarus. This will allow Mike to focus on some other aspects of transition while be builds relationships with workers of Spring of Revival in Belarus.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have prayed for and encouraged us, and to those who have made donations over the years.The fields do remain white unto harvest. Let us all continue to do our best in all things as unto the Lord, and to serve and love Him with all our heart, soul and strength. Continue reading