I may not be young, but I’m a newbie…I’m Robin Price, and I’ve been on the field in Odessa, Ukraine for only about 7 months. Being a cross-cultural worker was not my lifelong dream or a childhood calling, but the result of God’s steady chiseling of my heart over as many years as I’ve been a believer. I have taught school most of my life and worked in both children’s and youth ministries…but, overall, by God’s crafting, I have become a lover of and servant of God’s church.
My North Carolina church made a connection with a small church plant in north Odessa called Covenant of Grace. It wasn’t until after I’d made a few summer trips here and realized my deepening love for our sisters and brothers in Ukraine that God began to give me a vision of long-term service in ministry. It became evident to me that my gifting and passion fit well with their need for discipleship and encouragement. I sensed a call to live and minister here full-time, inspired by 1 Thessalonians 2:8: “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
I am mainly involved in ministry to women in both the church and the community. I lead Bible studies, teach an English class as a community outreach, and meet together with women for tea or cooking lessons or just heart-to-hearts. Alas, these relational things that I love to do are quite a challenge for me here, as I am still learning to speak Russian (see prayer requests)…but I love being with them.
Though I have found them welcoming, numerous Ukrainian women wrestle with poor self-image and depression in this country that has known much suffering and loss. Many of them are raising children by themselves or have had several abortions; some have little sense of modesty or little understanding of chastity; many have no intimate friendships or any experience with emotional vulnerability, spiritual guidance, or accountability.
In the face of these needs, the traditional Orthodox Church seems to provide only rituals, rules, icons, and superstitions. Our team’s goal is to strengthen the members of Covenant of Grace Church to become bearers of truth and love, confident in their gifts, able to build up the body of Christ and to reach their community. God has called me to walk alongside the women here, through this small Presbyterian church, and to speak truth into their lives. My desire is to help them find their identity in Jesus Christ and see the personal healing and hope that He provides.
- that I will learn the Russian language quickly so that I may communicate more clearly without a translator.
- that, despite my challenges with the language, the people here will know my love for them by the Spirit in me.
- that I will look to God when loneliness hits (including that particular loneliness of a single woman).
- for my faithfulness to daily prayer, submitting my life and work to His will.
- for clear direction about my future commitment to MTW (Mission to the World). I am now serving a two-year term, but there is potential for becoming a career cross-cultural worker.
Спасибо. С богом.
Thank you. Go with God.