You may remember our teammate, Sacha Turek, from our time in St. Petersburg in 2009-2010. After returning from Russia, Sacha got married to Phil Opperman. Since then, they have been organizing teams to go to St. Pete every spring. Over the past five years, they have sensed a call to return there to work full-time with teenagers. After exploring many different ways to do that, they chose Cru, and joined staff in May! They are currently raising support and recruiting a team of people to go with them. They hope to report in August of 2017.

In the Oppermans’ own words:

In Russia, 75% of churches have one event or less a year for youth. We want to see more Christians reaching out to youth, but churches need help training and equipping people to work with youth throughout Russia. The youth are actively seeking a spiritual connection and we want to direct them to the only thing that will ever fulfill them – Jesus Christ.

I am thrilled that they will be under my team’s care. It’s life-giving to think that a movement God led us to help launch back in 2002 continues, with renewed vision under Phil and Sacha’s leadership. Please pray for the Oppermans as they prepare for their new life and ministry in St. Petersburg, Russia.

That was then...Sacha (far left) in 2010

That was then…Sacha (far left) in 2010

This is now...Sacha & Phil (on left) 2016

This is now…Sacha & Phil (on left) 2016











SHINE is what Cru’s outreach to teenagers is called in Western Europe. Every two years, they have an outreach called “summerSHINE” in a European city. This year, the event is in Malaga, Spain and our family will be attending! According to the organizers:

We’re gonna have an awesome time by stepping out of our comfort zones to give God the opportunity to step in and touch many lives with His love. You’ll get to know students from many different countries, hear challenging speakers, and learn how to share your faith and do ministry back at home. One exciting week of mission – concerts in schools, street outreaches, evangelistic beach parties, fun, prayer, and experiencing our great GOD!

Please pray for the Lord to do a powerful work in and through all who attend. If you would like to give a special gift to help cover our cost, go to: