Dear <<First Name>>,
At last month’s Global Initiative Reception, we had the privilege of hearing from Pastor Roman Popov (pictured, left), a native of Russia and pastor of Ryazan Evangelical Church. Pastor Roman, who lives about 200 miles southeast of Moscow, serves his community through counseling, mentoring and teaching over 200 evangelical leaders from across the former Soviet Union who, in turn, serve 3,000 people in a variety of cultures and countries.
The Journey helped confirm his call.
Pastor Roman was introduced to The Leadership Institute through a Journey alumnus, who helped Pastor Roman join us at The Journey in recent years. Through the Journey, God confirmed Pastor Roman’s call to help other leaders from all over the former Soviet republics grow “in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) and bring the Journey retreat series into his own context in Russia.
During our second annual Global Initiative Reception, Pastor Roman shared about how his own walk with the Lord has been renewed because of his being served by The Leadership Institute faculty. Here’s a bit of what we heard that night from Pastor Roman:
I come from a long line of Christian leaders and one of first things I remember being taught was how to die for Jesus. I didn’t know how to serve Him at that point, but I knew that I had to be ready to die for Him.
Later, in ministry, I began to learn that doing ministry is just to be present with the people. When they struggled, I struggled with them. If they needed prayer, I prayed with them. This is how I understood and understand ministry even now.
Spending time with Jesus is crucial to serving in ministry.
But, one big piece that was missing in all of these years was simply learning how to be with Jesus. I knew how to die for Jesus. I knew how to serve Jesus. But somehow I missed this part of spending time with Jesus.
In my two years in the Journey one of the main things I learned was that to be with Jesus has to be first. Because even if you die for Jesus, it will be hard to die for Him every day without being with Him.
Now I know how to be with Jesus, serve Jesus and, if necessary, die for Jesus. But it begins by being with Jesus.
Bringing truth to all peoples.
We’re grateful for the opportunity to speak this important truth into Pastor Roman’s life. And in the past several months, this truth is bearing fruit to other believers God has placed in Pastor Roman’s care. In light of the recent military events between Russia and Ukraine, Pastor Roman saw the need to start a prayerful training process similar to the Journey that would reach out to both Russians and Ukrainians. “I want these young people to learn to be with Jesus. This is the key for everything,” Pastor Roman said.
As you start your day today, would you take a moment to pray for Pastor Roman and the frontline work he is doing to help mend the fences between his neighbors? Would you pray for us at The Leadership Institute as well, as we continue to serve followers of Jesus from around the globe?
Thanks for your partnership with us in ministry.
Peace to you and yours,
David P. Costillo, MA
Director of Advancement