By Dr. Paul Shotsberger
If you have been reading this newsletter over the years, you are no doubt familiar with the name Valya Grenchuk. She has been the director of the Institute in Ukraine for six years, and an MTEE board member for two years. She became a board member in part to begin fulfilling the vision of shared authority among the countries where MTEE serves. Modern missions no longer includes only western missionaries going east, but also those first and second generation Christians from the east reaching out to those in the west. In that spirit, Valya has breathed new life into MTEE.
She has literally grown up with the Institute in Ukraine, starting work the first day of its existence as an eighteen-year-old, and working with the organization almost twenty years! She has a broadly international outlook combined with an insider’s perspective of what it takes to build and maintain relationships with a wide variety of pastors, leaders, churches and denominations. Over the years, MTEE has sought to give this young woman increased responsibility and authority, and in every case she has shown herself to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to her, greatly expanding the work of MTEE in Russian-speaking countries.
The next logical step for her and her family was for Valya to come to the United States and begin working directly for MTEE in all of the countries we serve, expanding our network of supporters, while also planting new fields for theological education and ministry training programs to grow. In August of this year, Valya and her family relocated from Ukraine to a suburb of Atlanta where there is a strong Russian-speaking community. She has committed to be in the United States for at least a year, depending on whether she can obtain her work visa.
Those of you who have met Valya will not be surprised that she is not just sitting around waiting for her visa to begin working. She has met multiple times with the pastor of the church where she worships in Atlanta, and as a result that church has decided to begin a bachelor program in February of next year. In November, she traveled to the Houston area to attend a leadership conference and meet with a pastor who is overseer of a network of churches there, investigating possible partnerships with MTEE. Also in November, she coordinated a meeting of current and former MTEE missionaries to strategize future directions for the ministry. (Participants pictured include Meloni Adams, Ernie Campe, John Daigle, Eileen Daigle, Paul Shotsberger, Valya and her husband Gena.)
MTEE is grateful for the impact that Valya has already made on the organization, and we ask for your prayers for her work visa to be approved quickly, so that she can be an official worker and her husband can also get his work visa, and for God to bless the work of Valya’s hands throughout the world.