95 Years Ago Ivan Voronaev Finally Reached the City of Odessa

August 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Not So “Little Odessa” (from the book The Life and Ministry of Rev. Ivan Voronev)

By the end of the summer of 1921, Voronaev and Koltovich received their permits to return to Russia and on August 12, 1921 landed in Odessa.[1] It had taken Voronaev over a decade of traveling around the globe to return to his motherland as a Pentecostal preacher and fulfill the divine calling: “Voronaev, Voronaev. Go to Russia!”

The results of his commitment and sacrifice increased quickly. For the first three months in Odessa, he labored among the evangelical churches, sharing his testimony and preaching the full gospel. Then, on November 21, 1921 he organized the Christian Evangelical Faith (Confession).[2] In two years time, the new community had over 370 members and the news of the new Pentecostal teaching spread rapidly across the U.S.S.R. In 1924, the Odessa community organized a regional assembly and at the second assembly in 1925, the Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Christian Faith (Confession) was established.

By 1927, more than 350 Pentecostal Assemblies with membership of 17,000 strong were part of the Union,[3] which continued to grow and by 1944 exceeded 20,000 in Ukraine and 80,000 strong in the whole U.S.S.R.[4] Voronaev’s church in Odessa alone was reported to have over 1,000 members.[5] Government persecution was inevitable. Numerous publications against Voronaev’s work were circulated not only through Communist propaganda, but by some Baptist periodicals, who characterized the Pentecostal ministry as sectarian at best.[6] The Regime could not afford the meetings of large groups of people who were not part of the Communist Party. The Voronaev family paid the ultimate price of their calling for organizing and growing the Pentecostal community in Communist Russia.

In the summer of 1930 the repressions against Russian Pentecostals began. On July 6 (almost exactly 10 years after he left America for his prophesied mission to Russia) Ivan E. Voronaev and B.R. Koltovich, along with some 800 Russian pastors,[7] were arrested for preaching the Gospel through the support of churches outside the U.S.S.R., both sufficient reasons to be convicted in espionage and imprisoned in Siberian work camps.[8] Voronaev’s wife was also sentenced to imprisonment in mid-Asia. Their children were left without provision and no one to take care of them…[9]

[1] Ibid.,8.

[2] Ibid.,9.

[3] Koltovich, “Minutes of the Jubilee Meeting”, 10 and Evangelist (Odessa: 1928, No. 1) Quoted in Durasoff, 73 and Smolchuck, 4.

[4] Zhidkov, “On the Roads …” (Bv, No. 3, 1957), 62. Around 1936 Donald Gee, who had an extensive ministry at the Assemblies of God training program for ministers at Gdanks (Danzig), Poland, claimed some 80,000 Pentecostals in Russia in Upon All Flesh (Springfield: The Gospel Publishing House, 1947), 31. Both quoted in Durasoff, The Russian Protestants. For a more detail discussion on the growth of Pentecostalism in the U.S.S.R see V.I. Franchuk, Prossila Rossia Dozhdia u Gospoda (n/a: Kiev, 2001).

[5] McLeod, Hugh. Christianity: World Christianities c. 1914-c. 2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 97.

[6] Durasoff, 73.

[7] McLeod, 97.

[8] Burgess, Stanley M. and Eduard M. van der Maas, The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2002), 1179-80.

[9] For the situation in Russia and the story of the Voronaev children see Voronaeff, Paul. Christians under the Hammer and the Sickle (Wichita: Defender Publishers, 1935). Book was printed a total of 11 times in some three years time.

The Life and Ministry of Rev. Ivan Voronaev published in Bulgarian

November 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]We are pleased to announce that some five years after its first publication in English and Russian, our research on the Life and Ministry of Ivan Voronaev is now available in Bulgarian as well. This edition includes the Story of the Voronaev Children, the Correspondence of Ivan Voronaev plus a concluding chapter on the First Pentecostal Believers and Churches in Bulgaria. The book is published for the 95th anniversary of Bulgaria’s Pentecostal movement.

This book tells the story of the life and ministry of the family who brought the message of Azusa Street to Eastern Europe and Russia. The research has taken close to a decade to complete. It started with a brief article on the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in Bulgaria, where unfortunately most church archives were destroyed during Communism. Consecutively, the research led my wife and I on a long journey from the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, to the Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield and the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley.

We are grateful to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center for making available the ministerial file of Rev. Ivan Effimovich Voronaev kept in their denominational archives. We are deeply indebted to Dr. Albert Wardin for opening the doors for research in Nashville and Berkeley, where most documentation referring to Voronaev’s ministry as a Baptist is preserved. We are also thankful to Oleg Bronovolokov of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kiev, who helped with the input of various Russian documents pertaining to the Voronaevs.

Both papers included in this book were presented at two consecutive meetings of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in Minneapolis (2010) and Memphis (2011). The first paper, although heavily edited to fit the format, was published in vol. 30 (2010) of Assemblies of God Heritage magazine under a new title, “Ivan Voronaev: Slavic Pentecostal Pioneer and Martyr.” Some of the historical data we presented in the article was published openly for the first time. Our research was further mentioned in the December, 2010 AG Heritage editorial. The Bulgarian “Evangel” also published our translations of Voronaev’s correspondence.

In 2011, Vladimir Franchuk, translated parts of the Voronaev’s papers in Russian and included it in his book “Revival: from the center of Odessa to the ends of Russia,” thus making our research available to the Slavic people just in time for the 90th Anniversary from the beginning of Ivan Voronaev’s Pentecostal ministry in Russia. Partial information from these papers was also used by several recent studies concerning Pentecostalism in Europe and the life and ministry of Rev. Dionissy Zaplishny. Unfortunately, with all this interest, little attention was given to the second paper concerning the Voronaev children until now. The last chapter on the First Pentecostal Believers and Churches in Bulgaria is published for the 95th anniversary of Bulgaria’s Pentecostal movement.

Read about the legacy of Ivan Voronaev:

95 Years Ago Voronaev Set Sail on a Pentecostal Mission to Europe

July 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, Missions, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Rev. Ivan Voronaev’s last letter to Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Missouri was received by Rev. J. Roswell Flower on June 22, 1920 and was marked “He plans to return to Russia.” The letter outlined Voronaev’s six-point mission strategy:

  1. he was leaving with his family and some brothers from New York to Russia on July 13, 1920 on the steamboat “Madonna”
  2. Voronaev trusted the Lord for the finances necessary to complete the mission
  3. First Russian Assembly of New York was poor and unable to meet the ministry expenses
  4. Voronaev was unable to get in touch with Assemblies of God missionaries Johnson and Schmidt
  5. but planned to preach in Russia
  6. finally, the group had decided to purchase Russian Bibles and New Testaments in New York to take to Russia.

The group included the families of Voronaev, Zaplishny, Koltovich, along with V. Klibik and N. Kardanov from Ossetia. They could only purchase tickets for the deck, which proposed problems for the children during the cold ocean nights. According to Voronaev’s later records, the group set sail from New York on July 15, 1920 (thou Martha C. Zaplishny- Jackson recalls July 8th or 17th in various statements). The only standing proof for the exact departure date is the ship’s records with the French Fabre Line.

Madonna sailed via Marseille in France and Naples, Italy. The group’s trip to Europe included a stop in Greece before reaching Constantinople on August 10, 1920. Both Voronaev and Zaplishny’s children have pictures from visiting “several other Balkan countries,” thou not well documented and quite improbable. Consecutively, when the Zaplishny family had to flee Bulgaria in 1924, they used the same route taking a train to Cherbourg, France and then a boat to New York’s Ellis Island.

Through all these difficulties, Voronaev reached Bulgaria by the end of 1920 and Odessa in the U.S.S.R by August 12, 1921. The movements his mission started from Varna to Vladivostock were Pentecostal pioneers for this part of the Old World. By the time Voronaev was arrested in 1930, over 400 Pentecostal churches with 20,000 members strong were started by his ministry throughout Eastern Europe.

Read about the legacy of Ivan Voronaev:

More about the Voronaev’s children:

Ivan Voronaev in the historical archives:

Arrest and Imprisonment of Ekaterina Voronaev (1933)

August 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

The (un)Forgotten: Story of the Voronaev Children
Missions & Intercultural Studies
Dony K. Donev, D. Min.

Presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

“On one miserable cold, dark night in March 1933, Mother had gone to bed sick. After midnight a loud knock at the door awakened us. Three Secret Police officers entered and one of them shouted, “Citizen Ekaterina Voronaeff, you are under arrest.” Mother hurriedly dressed. My little brother and sister awoke and began to cry as they saw the police ripping our clothes and mattresses …. I can still see my mother standing in the middle of that awful room with graying hair, lips trembling on her sweet pale face, and her bright blue eyes filled with tears. Heartbroken, Timothy and Hope sobbed a last loving good-bye as our dear mother was dragged away to prison.”

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Ekaterina Voronaev would spend 24 long and horrible years in prison before seeing her children again. After being arrested on April 10, 1933 she spent 15 months in the Odessa prison interrogated constantly, 18 hours straight at times, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in mid-Asia. Petition sent to the Aid to Political Prisoners led by Ekaterina Peshkova (wife of Russian author Maxim Gorky) had little effect on the situation. Her children were allowed to see her only once, before she was sent to Siberia.

As both Voronaev parents were now in prison, and their American born boys had been safely returned, Paul, Hope and Timothy remained in Communist Russia. They were all born there, but this was hardly their country. Their parents have travelled the world and returned to their motherland only to find out it had become foreign to them. Paul was born somewhere on the Eastern Asian border, Hope and Timothy in Odessa, but now that they had no city on earth to call home and no one left to look after them. These children truly belonged to Heaven and God…

Arrest and Imprisonment of Rev. Ivan Voronaev (1930)

July 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]The (un)Forgotten: Story of the Voronaev Children
Missions & Intercultural Studies
Dony K. Donev, D. Min.

Presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

The enormity of the movement could not be left unnoticed by the Bolsheviks. After crashing every form of organized life in Russia, sentencing for life in the death camps of Gulag or simply shooting on the spot every leader and visionary of freedom, the atheistic government turned to the only organization apart from the Communist party that could still gather thousands of people – the Christian Church. The persecution of evangelicals was ordered from the very top and began with a full force.

First, in the winter of 1929, the Voronaevs were thrown on the street from their home on 22 Jukovskaya Str. and the father was constantly called and harassed by the Communist police. As soon as a friend took them in his home at 8 Arteoma Str., Ivan was arrested and beaten severely.

Over 800 Russian pastors were arrested and imprisoned in 1930. Some of Voronaev’s closest coworkers, among which B.R. Koltovich, were also taken away by the KGB and Ivan knew his turn was coming soon. His son Paul recalls him praying and “…. pleading with God for days for strength and courage…. Then it happened. It was a cold winter night, we were asleep. It was after the midnight hour. We were rudely awakened by a pounding at the door and someone calling with a loud voice, “Open the door, in the name of the law.”

After a thorough examination of their quarters the agents confiscated boxes of Bibles and religious literature and Rev. Voronaev was taken away.

“Mother walked silently beside him. In a moment, life had become a vacuum; husband taken from her, six children to care for, the youngest not even three years old. How could she endure it! …. Once more father embraced mother and tried to comfort her with the words “Cheer up, dear Katusha. God will take care of you … go back and take care of the children. Everything will be all right …”

For the next several months, Rev. Voronaev was moved around from prison to prison, “….battened, tortured, and kept without visitors or mail privileges. Then without trial, he was sentenced to lifelong exile in a Siberian prison.” On one rare occasion, his second oldest son Peter was allowed to visit him in prison for a period of 10 days. Peter took the difficult journey alone and travelled 11 days by train to Moscow and Kotlas, riverboat to Yst-Vym and secretly hidden on the back of a prison truck to the Siberian consecration camp of UFT-Uza reaching his father’s prison barrack at last. It was the last time any of his children ever saw him.

The Real Voronaev Children

April 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Reflection on The (un)Forgotten: Story of the Voronaev Children
Kathryn N. Donev, M.S., LPC/MHSP, NBCC

The chronology of the history of events in the lives of the Voronaev children is the least to say vague and uncertain. We see only bits and pieces of their experiences. And from what we do know from theses small glimpses, the facts are so disturbing that it is easier to face reality by ignoring it. It’s much more convenient to allow the lives of the Voronaev’s children to get lost in the midst of the politics, procedure and papers (or lack thereof). But, the truth is that “The (un)Forgotten” story is not about the difficulties of anything else but the children. The children are the focus of Dr. Donev’s paper and most definitely should not be forgotten.

Reading the story of the Voronaevs takes a strong heart. It is indeed a sad one that for many of us may seem unfathomable. And yet the sparse historical accounts surrounding their life stories force the reader to confront discomfort. However, the sadist story of all is that when reading this account from the perspective of the children it was not one that I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t want to think about how the children might have felt or what they might have gone through. I refused because it was too painful. It took too much emotional anguish to even think about the pain and trauma that these children went through. Because of my refusal to contemplate the trials these children endured, I was unable to be empathetic. I was powerless to even begin to comprehend what might have gone through the minds of the children who witnessed and experienced events no child should have to. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a child with no “home” or much less no country. I was not able to walk a mile in their shoes. I have no idea what it is or would be like to live under Communism or to be the child of a missionary family who had so many struggles, which is putting it lightly only so I can verbalize this unfortunate reality.

When a child is in any manner separated from their parents there becomes a disconnect like no other in which a child begins to have self-doubt, insecurity and uncertainty. When this bond is ripped apart it leaves behind feelings of anxiety and guilt. Yet when a child first hand experiences a parent being dragged off by Communist police in front of them, this leaves an entirely different scar, one which never heals. It is a scar so deep, filled with enormous traumatic stress which no one could possibly imagine. Not to mention the other dynamics of immigrations and foster care that the Voronaev children endured. These children no doubt were left with feelings of loneliness and rejection in one uncertain situation after the other.

So when we look back and we read the history of the complications of obtaining visas and the difficult times of providing a place for these children to stay in addition to worrying about the financial means to do so; when we look at the bickering and shady details of people’s character, we must not over look that there where real children suffering in the midst of the chaos. They were not just characters of a story or pawns in a game. They were real even though they were only foreigners of poor missionaries. They have stories to tell. They have a voice which must be heard. They most certainly were not listened too while they were alive so let us at least do them the justice of listening to their whispers beyond the grave and hear their pain, hear their trials and hear their plea to leave the politics behind and begin to see the true reality of missions work. Too often in the world of ministry, the children are the ones who suffer the most and it is quite unfortunate that the littlest ones go unheard. We must speak for the least of these among us. We can not remain silent.

New Voices from the Past: The Untold Story of the Life and Ministry of Rev. Ivan Voronaev

April 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, Missions, News

51Sa1IcA8OL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_[1]New Voices from the Past: The Untold Story of the Life and Ministry of Rev. Ivan Voronaev
Missions & Intercultural Studies
Dony K. Donev, D. Min.
Cup & Cross Ministries International
Presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

The name Ivan Efimovich Voronaev is of a central importance for the development of Pentecostalism in Communist Russia and its Eastern European satellites. Voronaev was saved in his early life in Russia and then became a powerful Baptist minister, but after being persecuted for preaching the Gospel, in 1912 he immigrated with his family through Japan to the United States. Voronaev’s ministry touched both Baptist and Pentecostal churches from California and Washington to New York and Connecticut, before he undertook the difficult journey across the Atlantic, through Constantinople and Bulgaria to reach his native land. Voronaev established Pentecostal churches along the way laying the foundation of Pentecostalism in Eastern Europe. Although his story has been told many times, very little has been documented about his early ministry before he converted to Pentecostalism and launched what would become an international Pentecostal campaign reaching people from Seattle to Siberia (going eastbound). This present study reviews Voronaev’s ministry based on documents from the early period of his life, examining his connections with Baptist and Assemblies of God denominations in the United States. It then presents information about his mission trip to Eastern Europe, with a special focus on his stay in Bulgaria and the foundation of his work in Russia. But long before finding his place in the ministry, the story of Ivan Voronaev begins with his personal quest for identity in ministry, beginning with a search for a name…

Ivan Voronaev: The Death of a Hero is a Legacy to Remember

March 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, News

ivan-voronaeffTHE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF REV. IVAN VORONAEV NOW WITH A SPECIAL ADDITION OF THE (UN)FORGOTTEN STORY OF THE VORONAEV CHILDREN

A more recent research, which came out after the writing of this first paper, proposed the discovery of a letter documenting Ivan Voronaev’s death on November 5, 1937. Such claim, especially coming from a single document, is the least to say suspicious, as it undermines the findings of leading Pentecostal historian, Vincent Synan (mentioned above) and the testimony of over 500 Russian Pentecostal national leaders placing Voronaev’s death some seven years later. It also contradicts the testimony of Voronaev’s wife and children, who continued to speak in defense of his release in churches all over the United States well pass 1937 (especially pass 1940).

If such document was indeed authentic, it is quite questionable that it has never surfaced before regardless of the numerous writers and researchers, representing at least a dozen of institutions and that many denominations, over the period of 100 years never came across such letter. Our team itself spent over ten years, with the help of friends and colleagues both in the United States and Russia, researching archived materials and documents, which had not been taken out of the boxes and shelves for decades, and we were not able to find even one concrete reference as per Voronaev’s time or cause of death. Not even his family knew, not even his children.

It was not until the 2010 Society for Pentecostal Studies meeting in Minneapolis, when this present research brought about that Voronaev could have in fact, under severe physical a psychological pressure, signed a document refuting his faith and work as a Pentecostal minister. This is part of history, which none of us would like to believe, but was completely possible under the Communist Regime and did occur time and time again in the lives of many Pentecostal heroes of the faith, making their testimonies not one bit less believable or inspirational. And though we strive to estrange from any conspiracy theory, this all looks very much like a political cover up and a clean house operation.

But who then, would have had such an increasing interest in recent years to go so deep into Bolshevik KGB archives, gaining access in offices and places where no one has been able to penetrate before? Certainly defending the honor of Rev. Voronaev was not at stake here, as no one, not even his most fervent critics for one moment believed his denial from the faith, as stated by the Communists. Such action was strongly refuted by his wife upon her arrival in the United States and even if it occurred in truth and reality as historical evidence, makes very little difference in the rich heritage Voronaev has left in Eastern Europe and global Pentecostalism.

So if Voronaev’s legacy was not at stake here, then whose? Perhaps, someone else’s honor had to be defended. Like the honor of an organization felt threatened by a story of its own, kept as a cold case for years now, but coming alive resurrecting memories and livelihoods and guilt? Or perhaps a party so mighty, so powerful, so strong that it could not bear the burden of martyrs it buried below? In all cases, such defensive and definitive action can come only from human organization based on man made polices and rules, which Voronaev rejected and fought from the moment he was saved from this world to the moment he was sent into the world to come.

Preview and Purchase at Lulu.com

LIFE AND MINISTRY OF IVAN VORONAEV

February 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News

ivan-voronaeffTHE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF REV. IVAN VORONAEV NOW WITH A SPECIAL ADDITION OF THE (UN)FORGOTTEN STORY OF THE VORONAEV CHILDREN

This book tells the story of the life and ministry of the family who brought the message of Azusa Street to Eastern Europe and Russia. The research has taken close to a decade to complete. It started with a brief article on the beginning of the Pentecostal movement in Bulgaria, where unfortunately most church archives were destroyed during Communism. Consecutively, the research led my wife and I on a long journey from the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, to the Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield and the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley.

We are grateful to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center for making available the ministerial file of Rev. Ivan Effimovich Voronaev kept in their denominational archives. We are deeply indebted to Dr. Albert Wardin for opening the doors for research in Nashville and Berkeley, where most documentation referring to Voronaev’s ministry as a Baptist is preserved. We are also thankful to Oleg Bronovolokov of the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kiev,
who helped with the input of various Russian documents pertaining to the Voronaevs.

Both papers included in this book were presented at two consecutive meetings of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in Minneapolis (2010) and Memphis (2011). The first paper, although heavily edited to fit the format, was published in vol. 30 (2010) of Assemblies of God Heritage magazine under a new title, “Ivan Voronaev: Slavic Pentecostal Pioneer and Martyr.” Some of the historical data we presented in the article was published openly for the first time. Our research was further mentioned in the December, 2010 AG Heritage editorial. The Bulgarian “Evangel” also published our translations of Voronaev’s correspondence.

In 2011, Vladimir Franchuk, translated parts of the Voronaev’s papers in Russian and included it in his book “Revival: from the center of Odessa to the ends of Russia,” thus making our research available to the Slavic people just in time for the 90th Anniversary from the beginning of Ivan Voronaev’s Pentecostal ministry in Russia. Partial information from these papers was also used by several recent studies concerning Pentecostalism in Europe and the life and ministry of Rev. Dionissy Zaplishny. Unfortunately, with all this interest, little attention was given to the second paper concerning the Voronaev children until now.

The Real Voronaev Children

April 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured, News

voronaevs

Reflection on The (un)Forgotten: Story of the Voronaev Children

The chronology of the history of events in the lives of the Voronaev children is the least to say vague and uncertain. We see only bits and pieces of their experiences. And from what we do know from theses small glimpses, the facts are so disturbing that it is easier to face reality by ignoring it. It’s much more convenient to allow the lives of the Voronaev’s children to get lost in the midst of the politics, procedure and papers (or lack thereof). But, the truth is that “The (un)Forgotten” story is not about the difficulties of anything else but the children. The children are the focus of Dr. Donev’s paper and most definitely should not be forgotten.

Reading the story of the Voronaevs takes a strong heart. It is indeed a sad one that for many of us may seem unfathomable. And yet the sparse historical accounts surrounding their life stories force the reader to confront discomfort. However, the sadist story of all is that when reading this account from the perspective of the children it was not one that I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t want to think about how the children might have felt or what they might have gone through. I refused because it was too painful. It took too much emotional anguish to even think about the pain and trauma that these children went through. Because of my refusal to contemplate the trials these children endured, I was unable to be empathetic. I was powerless to even begin to comprehend what might have gone through the minds of the children who witnessed and experienced events no child should have to. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a child with no “home” or much less no country. I was not able to walk a mile in their shoes. I have no idea what it is or would be like to live under Communism or to be the child of a missionary family who had so many struggles, which is putting it lightly only so I can verbalize this unfortunate reality.

When a child is in any manner separated from their parents there becomes a disconnect like no other in which a child begins to experience self-doubt, insecurity and uncertainty. When this bond is ripped apart it leaves behind feelings of anxiety and guilt. Yet when a child first hand experiences a parent being dragged off by Communist police in front of them, this leaves an entirely different scar, one which never heals. It is a scar so deep, filled with enormous traumatic stress which no one could possibly imagine. Not to mention the other dynamics of immigrations and foster care that the Voronaev children endured. These children no doubt were left with feelings of loneliness and rejection in one uncertain situation after the other.

So when we look back and we read the history of the complications of obtaining visas and the difficult times of providing a place for these children to stay in addition to worrying about the financial means to do so; when we look at the bickering, the perhaps shady details of people’s character and church politics, we must not over look that there where real children suffering in the midst of the chaos. They were not just characters of a story or pawns in a game. They were real even though they were only foreigners and they were only children of poor missionaries. They have stories to tell. They have a voice which must be heard. They most certainly were not listened too while they were alive so let us at least do them the justice of listening to their whispers beyond the grave and hear their pain, hear their trials and hear their plea to leave the politics behind and begin to see the true reality of missions work. Too often in the world of ministry, the children are the ones who suffer the most and it is quite unfortunate that the littlest ones go unheard. We must speak for the least of these among us. We can not remain silent.

Kathryn N. Donev, M.S., LPC/MHSP, NBCC

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