September 21, 2015
After 2 years of construction, the congregation was ready to complete the interior. However, upon our return to Saratov, NOTHING had changed. With a small congregation and limited resources, the interior was not getting done. They needed our help. But what could we do? There was an art class held in the church. So we decided to ask the teacher if we could use the artwork to make note cards to sell to raise money for the church. Her response? “No, you cannot use that art. It is the property of the person who made it.” So Tatyana , who had taken the class said, “You can use my picture.” Thus begins Marfa Ministry. One picture led to another until there were five. Then people asked for Christmas cards, of which there are now seven. Business grew so fast, we felt called to do more. Establishing a true 501(c)(3) was the next order of business. Marfa became a nonprofit in April 2012. Proceeds from the sales of these cards has provided the needed funds to complete the interior of the church building. Now, since the completion of the church, the Marfa board has agreed that proceeds will now go to provide scholarships for young pastors entering the Moscow Theological Seminary. This training is approximately $5000 a year for 3 years. We hope to provide one full scholarship every year.
All businesses and residents agreed to sell except for Rev. Tatyana Molodyk, pastor of the Methodist Church. She said, “If I sell to you we would have no place to worship.” After three years of negotiations, the developer offered to build a church at another location. Tatyana's answer - “YES!”
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