- To bring the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ to those who will hear
- To disciple those who respond to the message of the gospel
- To help others do what God has called them to do
- To be a blessing to those in need
To see those people who have made a commitment to Christ become mature, “attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” Ephesians 4:13.
Matthew 28:18-20, contain what is generally thought of as the “Great Commission. “Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
By saying He had all power, Jesus was identifying himself as the Christ, the Son of God. His command is to go to all nations not only to preach the gospel and baptize new believers, but also to teach people to do what he taught. The general term for this is discipleship.
We who are believers now have a clear mandate to provide spiritual counsel and training to those who are younger in Christ.
Throughout the area where we serve there are pockets of new believers, particularly those who have found Christ in summer camps or through men’s meetings, who do not have access to spiritual counsel. Also, the church is growing and there is a great need for spiritual development.
Stoneworks seeks to connect mature believers with new ones, to help these living stones assume their intended position in the spiritual house God is building.
The History of Stoneworks International
Russia — the early days
Originally, Stoneworks sent teams of volunteers to camps in the St. Petersburg area. These trips were always fruitful times of ministry, as the teams established relationships with many of the camp staff and children. Through this summer camp ministry, Stoneworks teams also met orphans, and the teams then wanted to visit the orphanages in the winter. Stoneworks sent teams to Russia all through the year, teams from Massachusetts, Texas, Georgia, Kentucky and California. Through this work, a number of the children ask Jesus into their hearts.
David Hulley (Stoneworks founding chairman) and his daughter Elizabeth spent time in St. Petersburg doing follow-up and making new contacts. In 2004 Elizabeth Hulley moved to St. Petersburg as the first Stoneworks overseas worker. She was then involved in follow-up with children met at the camps. She met and married Andrei Sukhovsky; they and their children continue to live and minister in St. Petersburg.
Since then Stoneworks has developed several programs and has helped long-term missionaries ministering in Russia. In 2011, Stoneworks began partnering with Yura Belonozhkin, supporting his work, The Arctic Men’s Fellowship, in the far north of Russia and Norway. Most recently we’ve partnered with churches in Moldova, Ukraine and Romania. The work continues.
In 2007 Stoneworks began discussing and praying about an affiliation with Spring of Revival, in Belarus. Spring of Revival, under the direction of Olga Goncharenko, ministers in orphanages and camps in the Minsk area. Olga and other workers there have been involved as interpreters for teams ministering in Russia, and many people on those teams have also ministered in Belarus.
Due to the similarity of vision and ministry, and the sharing of personnel, the affiliation seemed like a good step – and it formally began on January 1, 2008. Stoneworks has now become a central source of news and support regarding the ministry of Spring of Revival. Stoneworks was also instrumental in establishing and now continuing Minsk Family Homes, a project of Spring of Revival.
Also in 2007, contacts were made with the Evangelical church Word of God in Podgorica, Montenegro, led by Vladimir Cizmanski. A year later, Stoneworks sent a short-term team to minister with the church in sponsoring their very first summer camp for teens. This was a great success and Stoneworks has sent many teams since then.
In 2014, Stoneworks began its partnership with Roma/RAE, a Roma church in Podgorica. Stoneworks supplies financial support and sends mission teams to serve with Roma/RAE.
Each year sees mission teams involved in a variety of ministries — youth camps, prayer walks, worship training, youth leadership seminars, evangelism, and church retreats.
Estonia and Beyond
Next, Stoneworks established relationships in Estonia (less than a day’s drive from St. Petersburg, Russia). In addition to sending mission teams to serve in summer camps, we have deepened our relationship with the church in Jõhvi.
Stoneworks also took the lead in establishing Päikesekiir (Sunbeam), a center for children with disabilities in Northeast Estonia.
More recently, long-term missionary Haley Henson took residence in Ukraine, serving in a gypsy village and working with a local church. Stoneworks also partners with Manna Church in Sighișoara, Romania and with Victor and Victoria Urasinov in Soroca, Moldova.
Stoneworks International, Inc. incorporated in December, 2003, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
and now based in the State of Texas, has IRS 501(c)3 non-profit designation.