Good Soil – From Honeymoon to Serving Overseas
Danil and Alla T. both grew up in Christian families that immigrated to the United States. Alla came to the from the Ukraine when she was 5 and Danil from Russia as a teenager. Both were interested in missions and participated in several mission trips, believing the Great Commission was part of their responsibility as followers of Jesus Christ. When he was twenty, Danil had what he describes as a faith crisis and began looking into other religions. The emptiness of those other religions, though, strengthened in him his understanding of the gospel, that he was a sinner without hope, for whom Jesus had died, and was greatly loved and cared for by God. This stirred in him an even greater desire to share the gospel with those without understanding and hope.
Danil was introduced to Good Soil over ten years ago by an ABWE missionary who came to his cousin’s church. Danil bought and read Gaining Ground with Good Soil and realized it fit right in with his desire to help people truly understand the gospel and fulfill Jesus’ words in Matthew to make disciples of all nations and wanted to learn more. He signed up for the next Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship seminar at ABWE headquarters. After returning home, his plan was to travel around the world on mission trips looking for adventure and being involved in making disciples. He began to feel, however, that God wanted him to get married. He prayed asking God to send him somewhere audacious like Africa or Siberia, but the sense that the Holy Spirit was leading him to find a wife kept growing.
Meanwhile, the impact of the mission trips she had taken was weighing on Alla. She had been struck by the spiritual abundance she had been given growing up compared to those who did not have that privilege. She realized this abundance was not just for her to keep but God wanted her to do something with it and she began pursuing missions. Alla had the habit of praying for people as God brought them to her mind, and one day she prayed for Danil. They were only casual friends, but she knew what God was doing in his life, and so she prayed that God would help him get married. The next day, Danil contacted her via Facebook asking her to get together. “God, this is not what I meant,” she told Him. She laughs recounting that the first date was more like an interrogation, as Danil used his evangelism tools on her and wanted to take her through a study of The Story of Hope. But they both sensed the real desire to serve God in each other and were soon married.
In 2014 as part of their honeymoon, they traveled to ABWE and took the two week-long Roots of Faith course together and then traveled on to Russia where they taught a Good Soil seminar. “Some people might find it odd,” said Alla, “but for us it was a fulfillment of our dreams.” They continued to take more trips to Mexico and Uganda, teaching the Good Soil seminar there, as well as at several local churches around their state. They also began to raise a family and now have four children ages 6 to 8 months.
Though blessed with a good job that allows them to take these trips, they still sensed that the Lord was calling them to serve him overseas full-time. They attended the New Missionary Orientation in March as short-term missionaries and are planning to go serve in Thailand for a year. Their goals are to make disciples with English-speaking Thais, assist the local churches, and use this year to prepare for long-term ministry. They want to learn how to better serve as missionaries, begin learning the language and culture, and research the best platform for ministry in the years to come. They chose Thailand because of their yearning to see unreached people groups hear and understand God’s plan of redemption.
When asked why they decided to serve with ABWE and Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship Ministries, Danil answered, “ABWE has a long track record of planting churches and making disciples. The Good Soil training and resources have already had a big impact on our own ministry, and we look forward to continuing using them to reach people for Christ. Also, we wanted to serve with an organization that we can really learn from. ABWE provides the training, coaching, and mentorship that we greatly desire.” Danil and Alla ask prayer for the many things, including paperwork, that needs to be done before they can go, for their needed financial support, and for their family.