Before he could complete his studies, the institution in which Innovista’s Ukraine Director, Anatoliy, was based unexpectedly shut down.

He won a place to transfer to Oxford University – but didn’t have the money to go.

That was when Rodger and Carol stepped in. In 2007.

Their generous offer to fund Anatoliy’s place began a long and fruitful partnership.

They were delighted when he chose to return to Ukraine to equip local church leaders to serve their communities, and expand their ministries effectively.

But Rodger and Carol had never seen the impact of their investment for themselves – until now.

Last month, the couple travelled to L’viv and Kiev to see the difference Innovista training is making in people’s lives.

At a Tempo Leadership Course weekend seminar, they were impressed by the quality of Anatoliy’s delivery and the way participants got to grips with their learning.

A Soviet-era tendency to avoid responsibility and to doubt that change is possible persists in Ukrainian culture. This can make it hard for leaders to transform their vision into reality.

To do that, they need help to design effective strategies, and someone to walk alongside them as they take the steps needed to catalyse change.

And that’s what Rodger and Carol saw Innovista provide.

A highlight of their trip was a visit to Smart Kids, a flourishing new outreach project run by recent Tempo graduates in an apartment block basement.

Empowered by the Tempo training your support makes possible, the leaders of a local church thought carefully and creatively about how to reach the people living in the tall apartment blocks around them.

Mentoring from Anatoliy helped them to spot a gap – the need for good child care – and to use the resources they already had – an unused basement and a high degree of musical talent in the team.

The result is a basement that now brims with life, music, colour and community. Young children have a fun and welcoming place, their parents’ need for day care has been met – and many people in the complex are being exposed to a vibrant Christian community.

Reflecting on years of investing in mission, Rodger says, ‘We don’t consider ourselves so much active givers as observers of what the Lord is doing. Generosity isn’t about rote or rules. It’s just a joyful experience of how things can work economically for us and for the people we are in contact with.’

Alongside financial support, prayer underpins everything we do. We would love to equip you to pray for Anatoliy and Innovista Ukraine. If you would like to receive a prayer card, please email kate.woods@innovista.org and she will happily post one to you. Thank you.