Regina’s Story: Ministry to Young Cancer Patients

Regina, one of our School Without Walls students in Russia

Looking back, Regina can see clearly that God was working for many years to reach both her and her husband with the Good News. In 2003 both Regina and her husband gained new coworkers in their workplaces that were evangelical Christians. Regina was a teacher at a vocational school and her husband worked in construction. Her husband’s coworker invited him to church, and Regina decided to go with him. There, they discovered people who were full of life and joy. Fascinated, they continued attending church services and Christian events, and in 2004 they both made the decision to repent and dedicate their lives to Jesus.

Since then Regina and her husband have been growing in faith and serving in the church. Her husband is a worship leader and deacon. They also have three small children, which until recently had prevented them from pursuing a Christian education. However, when Mission Eurasia’s leadership training program School Without Walls (SWW) came to their church in 2015, the program offered the flexible solution that they needed, enabling them to obtain the training and tools they needed for ministry without detracting from their family, work, and ministry responsibilities.

“As I studied in SWW, I kept asking myself, ‘How can I serve people who don’t yet know God?’” shares Regina. “I enjoy attending church and serving our church body, but I wanted to reach people outside the church, just as our coworkers reached out to us over a decade ago. I kept pondering and coming back to this question as I proceeded with my SWW studies.”

Regina and another SWW student in the pediatric oncology unit at the hospital where they serve

Last year, Regina’s SWW group got involved in ministry in a pediatric oncology unit in a Krasnodar hospital. “I knew that this was a ministry where I could share God’s love and speak hope to those who had lost theirs,” shares Regina. In addition to speaking individually with children and their families, Regina had the privilege of dressing as an angel and declaring Good News of great joy throughout all five floors the pediatric unit as they invited children and their parents to a Christmas concert last Christmas. Many children and parents came down to the hospital’s performance hall, and there Regina and the rest of the SWW team shared a message of hope with them through their concert, and took the opportunity to get to know many families personally. They made it their mission to discover how they could help these families, and then set about doing so – they helped buy expensive medications and purchase tickets to St. Petersburg for a life-changing surgery.

“These bridges allow us to share the Gospel with parents and children,” shares Regina. “I know that this is a long-term ministry, which requires a lot of patience and care for these people. I am grateful that SWW motivated me to take steps to increase my faith. I firmly believe that many of these children and parents will come to faith in Jesus through this special project!”

Seven-year-old Tanya

On a visit last winter Regina met 7-year-old Tanya. Tanya has brain cancer, and had part of a malignant brain tumor surgically removed. She has also been through two rounds of chemotherapy. The tumor presses on the part of the brain that controls the endocrine system. One of the effects of this is severe fluctuations in hormones, which sometimes lead to a halt in her physical development, followed by drastic changes, such as gaining 20 pounds in a very short period of time. The chemotherapy has stopped the tumor’s growth. Generally these types of tumors will resume growth after two years, at which point another round of chemotherapy will stop the growth for another two years, and so on, until the tumor reaches a critical mass. Tanya’s mother shared that she is praying for her daughter and asked for prayer support. The family lives in the village of Gulkevichi, and have another child. Tanya’s father is unable to find full-time work, and they are struggling financially. SWW students helped purchase some items that Tanya needed, as well as raising money for travel to Moscow in April for treatment. In addition to offering financial support, the students have been visiting the family in their home and building a relationship with them, taking every opportunity to share a message of hope in Jesus with them.

To support the work of our School Without Walls students like Regina who are serving people in need and proclaiming the gospel with their unique gifts and abilities, please give to our School Without Walls program: