Ministry to the Blind in Kazakhstan
Euro-Asia Division (ESD)
[Kazakhstan] When Elena Flusova of Ust-Kamennagorsk experienced a significant loss of vision in 2006, she became involved with the local community of vision-impaired and discovered many of them have health problems due to sedentary lifestyle. She encouraged them to take walks with her and to use their senses by touching, smelling, tasting. In these strolls she spoke to them about the marvelous God who created nature. She also organized other outdoor activities with them, such as skating and riding horses.
When she began studying the Braille System, she asked to use the Braille Bible instead of secular books. The teachers agreed and in few days other new Braille readers asked to join Elena. The staff was greatly impressed when the group studying Braille using the Bible learned better and faster.
Flusova is currently chairman of Kazakh Public Society of People with Limited Vision in Ust-Kamennagorsk. During her ministry she has faced difficult situations and accusations. Some doors have been closed because her faith, but bigger doors have been opened. She organized cooking classes, massages, health programs, and a ladies club. Other associations asked for her help to bring the same healthy and encouraging programs to their organizations for the sighted. Certain people with big influence in the city are very happy with her work.
Flusova holds a Bible study with 35 people and it continues to grow. A sighted Adventist member who cares deeply about Bible study provided the Book of Revelation in Braille because of the great importance for the visually impaired to have access to it. Elena and her helpful church members are thrilled to see people in the Bible study being released from spiritual darkness.
Contributed by Guadalupe S. Alvarado, director, Southern Union Conference
Women of Virtue initiative launched in the United Kingdom
Trans-European Division (TED)
[England] Sharon Platt-McDonald, British Union Conference (BUC) Women's Ministries Director, launched Women of Virtue, an initiative she produced, at an April Day of Fellowship in Luton. Written to nurture the holistic development of women, Platt McDonald outlines 13 key principles from the life of the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31:10-31. A few of the resources in the program include a 282-page manual, a brochure series on prayer and gratitude with a prayer diary, even a theme song. More than 600 women attended the day of worshipful activities which included dramatizations of women in the Bible and a comparative study of the foolish woman of Proverbs 6 and the wise woman of Proverbs 7. The popular interactive exhibit depicting each of the 13 key principles gave women opportunity to reflect on their own lives.
Contributed by Sharon Platt-McDonald, WM director, British Union Conference