No Teen Left Behind!
Saturday, September 21st, 2019, was, for some teenagers in smaller churches in Eurasia an historic day. For the first time on that Saturday afternoon, teens in small churches and towns like Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Gomel, Belarus; Yerevan, Armenia; and many scattered across Russia, met for the first time on a monthly Skype conference call for a time of spiritual encouragement and connection to other teens.
Yana Starigina and Vlad Tkachenko, teen ministry leaders from Novosibirsk (who will be married on September 28th!), took the first slot as Emcees of this virtual international meet-up. The call will take place once a month, and each month a different teen-ministry couple will serve as Emcees or Facilitators on the call. In October, Russia's East Region teen leaders are on deck; in November -- St. Petersburg. Each month a teen ministry from one of the larger churches will take a turn shouldering responsibility for the spiritual content of the call.
Andrei Matveev, leader of the church in Chelyabinsk, has been working with Tammy Fleming to contact all the families of teenagers in Eurasian churches where there are not many spiritual peers close by to support these teens. Andrei -- featured in the video, above -- created this video announcement to inform the parents and teens in these far-flung churches about the monthly Skype call.
The idea of the conference call is to create a monthly "discipleship group" where these young disciples can meet for a spiritual lesson and be encouraged. We hope it will help them feel connected to the larger church community, beyond the tiny group of Christians in the cities and towns where they are growing up. These teens have a great time at our church summer camps, but typically those types of fellowship opportunities come around only once or twice a year. Please be praying for every one of these teenagers to become strong disciples!
Here's a photo from the first online Russian-language ICOC international teen monthly video meet-up! The next one is scheduled for October 26th and will be hosted by teen leaders from the East Region in the Moscow church of Christ.