I’ve always believed that ministry is about individual people—not crowds. Even though there are a few big crowds described in the Book of Acts, most ministry was one-on-one and very personal. That is because our God cares about the individual, and so should we! This philosophy has guided me since I began The Mordecai Project.
In the photo below you can see two Slavic guys I have mentored for many years. I met Alex Novik (far right) in 2006; I met Alex Ankudovich shortly afterwards. Both of them asked me to disciple them. Before long I began to meet other Slavic men and women from their Russian-speaking church in Philadelphia. I began speaking at their church, and soon we began hosting our Bold Venture retreats for both men and women there. Both of these guys now mentor a number of other young men.
Fast-forward several years. Alex Novik used his exceptional tech skills to design my ministry website, and he has been a huge support to me in so many areas. Earlier this year both Alexes accompanied me on a two-week ministry trip to Central Asia, where they helped translate my messages in Russian and ministered to the people there. And then last week, Alex Ankudovich invited me to speak to the employees of Kitchen Search, the kitchen remodeling business he owns. After that meeting Alex presented me with a check—and he announced that Kitchen Search will be regularly supporting The Mordecai Project with profits from the business!
It was out of my relationship with Alex and Alex that we started the Bold Venture retreat for men in Philadelphia. And last weekend we had another retreat there, this time at a camp that Word of Life Church owns on the outskirts of the city. It was a glorious time. As you can see from the photo below, we had a great group of guys—and more than half of them were in their 20s or younger.
The Holy Spirit did so much during those three days. Men were powerfully healed from father wounds; some were filled with the Holy Spirit; many were delivered from pornography and other addictions; and all were trained and equipped to begin making disciples one-on-one. They also enjoyed three days of deep fellowship in a rustic camp environment, complete with a huge bonfire! I always get so encouraged during these retreats.
Another special thing about Bold Venture is the multicultural flavor. At this event for men, we had guys who spoke Russian, Ukrainian, Amharic (the language of Ethiopia), Chinese, Spanish and Italian! Having so many men from diverse groups caused our fellowship to go to a deeper level as the men learned to cross racial lines and discover how God’s beauty is reflected in every culture. Below you can see that our worship team was from an Ethiopian church in Washington, D.C.
I was especially blessed that my ministry assistant, Paul Muzichuk, who I have mentored for several years, brought a powerful message to the guys on Friday night. He shared a painful testimony about his own father wounds, and his transparency helped the men to open up and receive healing. This is the greatest joy in my life—to see those I am training emerge as leaders to surpass me. (I think of this so much more these days since I turned 60!)
The best thing about Bold Venture is that it does not just happen with men—we have women’s retreats as well! My wife and I hosted our fall women’s retreat in the Atlanta area at the end of September, and the theme was “Shine.” Below you can see some of the women on the stage at the church in Douglasville, Georgia, where we met.
This year’s women’s retreat was so special because I invited June Evans to speak again. June is almost 80, but she was as animated and passionate as any other speaker and her messages were deep and life-changing. My goal at Bold Venture is to bring speakers who can mentor the women and help them emerge as leaders and disciple-makers. Below you can see some of the women praying for each other as I shared a message from the book of Esther about stepping into a place of royal authority. This is the time for women to arise!
Below you can see our group from women’s Bold Venture in Atlanta. All of the speakers—including Beth Taylor, Stephanie Bond, June Evans and B. Kay Jones—were so encouraging. I was especially blessed that my daughter Margaret Grady Turner brought a powerful message about fighting injustice. She shared some stories from her work to rescue women from sex-trafficking—and the women were motivated to become rescuers and activists. This year we had women from all over the Southeast, but also some women who flew from New Mexico, Wisconsin, Washington state, Minnesota, Canada and the island of Trinidad!
Something very special happened on the last day of women’s Bold Venture. We are currently beginning a project to help disenfranchised women in Pakistan. Right now we are selling jewelry, scarves and other handmade items to help these women make a living wage. We had one beautiful, handcrafted tote bag on our table, and many women wanted to buy it. So many women, in fact, that we decided to auction it! In the end the bag sold to the woman in the photo below for $310—and the entire amount is going to help Pakistani women continue making more bags. Soon we hope to send bags similar this to your church so that you can auction them and help us fund the Pakistani ministry! The man in the photo below is Pastor Mark Evans, who allowed us to use his church for our event. He happens to be a skilled auctioneer, and he kept us all in stitches as the price of the bag continued to rise!
Thank you again for all your love and support. Deborah and I are so grateful for your partnership. The Lord has been so faithful to sustain us. Please pray about how you can continue to help us finish our projects in Guatemala and Peru, and please pray that God will send the needed funds for the work in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Colombia and India.
If you’d like to give to our work, just click on the “Donate” button below to give online, or mail your check to The Mordecai Project, P.O. Box 2781, LaGrange, GA 30241. All gifts are tax-deductible.
Lee and Deborah Grady
The Mordecai Project
P.O. Box 2781
LaGrange, GA 30241
The Mordecai Project is a Christian ministry devoted to empowering women, confronting abuse and transforming nations through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
All gifts are tax-deductible. Secure online donations can be made at our website themordecaiproject.org/donate
Checks can be made out to The Mordecai Project and mailed to:
The Mordecai Project / Bold Venture Ministries
P.O. Box 2781
LaGrange, GA 30241: