Odessa Springs Counseling CenterThe "Odessa Springs" Family Life Counseling Center is a ministry of members of the Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church of Odessa, with participation of other Christian counselors.

They promote Christian ethics and life skills in Odessa families, as well as outreach to orphans and needy families in the community.

Pictures of events: www.ClayQ.smugmug.com
English site with counselors photos: http://familycounseling-odessa.org/ 


The Odessa Springs Psychological Counseling Center 
Report for June and July, 2012

Dear friends,

Let me tell you about the work of the Odessa Springs Counseling Center in June/July.

During this time we conducted 63 individual counseling sessions. Both believers and non-believers contacted us. The main problems are marriage conflicts, conflicts between children and parents, and panic attacks.

In June, two new projects began at our Center. Now every Friday we conduct thematic meetings that are dedicated to some topic. All persons who are interested can come to our meetings. We have already successfully conducted meetings on such topics as: "How to manage anger", "How to respond to teenagers’ aggression" etc.

The other project is groups of psychological support for the elderly people. In this country, almost nobody cares for the elderly people. They are lonely, unhappy, sick and almost without means of living. We hope that at our meetings, these people will learn to solve their problems and also will meet new people and will no longer feel so lonely.

I would like to share with you a story from the lives of our clients who contacted us a year ago. It is a couple who had not been able to have children for 7 years, but finally, the long-awaited pregnancy came. They turned to us because they did not know which decision to take and why. The doctors found out a serious pathology with the baby to be born and urgently recommended to do abortion. Even the day was already appointed when the abortion was supposed to be conducted. But upon meeting several times with a counselor from our Center, this couple firmly decided to keep the baby. The baby was born with a cleft palate. To date, the child sustained 2 surgeries which went well. The parents continue to seek support from our Center. They are happy that they kept the child and they are thankful to our counselors for the fact that our work with them helped them to become firm in their decision to give life to their lovely child.

I thank you all for your prayers and support. Owing to your help we have the opportunity to help people in Ukraine.

Please keep praying for our Center.

With love in Christ,
Lena Kolker,
The Odessa Springs Psychological Counseling Center

We’ve just released a SHORT video that shows more about the center’s work:

        WATCH (6 minutes):


Or click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Wjd2vXiq5Qk   

This was produced by our friends Gary & Susan Bauer of AlphaVideo. In filming this, we realized the broad reach of the counseling center in Odessa, in church, school, and community.

You may also wish to visit the Springs Facebook page (mostly in Russian):


Their website shows some important seminars in April & May, including a seminar by counselor Langston Haygood of Birmingham, AL:

http://familycounseling-odessa.org/ru/news-and-events (in Russian but with pictures)

as well as recent events and news (in English):


In December we conducted 46 counseling sessions.  28 of them were paid, 18 were free of charge. 21 were the repeated ones. All the rest were held by reference from the clients and church comers who know about our ministry.  The age of the clients was from 17 to 50 years old.  The problems were connected with the spouse relations, relations between the young unmarried people, parents and children, such issues as loneliness, social maladjustment, panic attacks.


Sveta and Angela conduct training beginning psychologists.  They work with two groups of 5 and 8 people.  They share the materials that Dr Langston Haygood and his colleagues taught us.


Pastor Valera Babynin and I conducted the Monart painting/drawing classes.  However, it was the last month of our group, because Valera cannot teach this group any more.


We continue to conduct charity work  with the orphan children, children from problem families, also help the Christian School.  This work is intensively done by Sveta Fedorenko, Angela and Vova Aleksandrovich, Vika Varvarina and myself (Lena Kolker).  Sveta and Vika help children and teenagers learn how to communicate with the adults and their peers, how to overcome fears, how to raise their self-esteem.  They also try to develop them in general.


Angela and Vova teach the orphan girls (13 girls aged from 14 to 20) and orphan boys (6-7 boys aged from 13 to 23) separately.  They teach them how to communicate with their peers and give them individual counseling on various matters.


In the Christian school, I help to work with the problem children.  It involves testing, providing correctional classes, having talks with the children and the teachers.  Periodically the School Board invites me to evaluate some school cases.


At the end of December, we organized great Christmas events for the orphans. Sveta, Angela and Vika wrote an interesting scenario. The children performed in various contests, sang songs, and we had an opportunity of sharing God’s Word with them. Also, we brought small presents for them.  Judging by the children’s response we managed to make a party for them. (see the photo)


Also, we, the workers of the Springs Counseling Center had a very good time together.  We played bowling and ate a delicious cake (see the picture



Unfortunately, I was refused the American visa again and I won’t be able to see you.

Please keep on praying for our Center.  We need your prayers and we see the Lord answering them.  By God’s mercy our ministry grows and develops.


I thank each of you for your prayers and support.  May God bless you!

Love in Christ,

Lena Kolker


The Odessa Springs Psychological Counseling Center

Dear friends,

Let me tell you about the work of our Center in February. 

In February, 31 counseling sessions  were conducted. The majority of the sessions were follow-ups. The new clients applied after coming to know us through the website or upon the recommendation of their acquaintances. 

I would like to tell you about a client who periodically comes for counseling in our Center. Sofia (the name has been changed for confidentiality reasons) is 34.  She is married and has a daughter.  She applied to us because of panic attacks and fears.  Her relationship with her husband and daughter were problematic.  She wasn’t satisfied with her life.  She didn’t have enough education and had to work as a cleaner.  She didn’t know how to live further on.  Sofia has taken several courses of individual counseling and training sessions. For now Sofia feels much better.  She has become calmer, more self-confident.  Her relationship with her husband and daughter have become better.  She has entered an economy department of the university and got a job of a cashier in a bank.  Sofia has got interested in the spiritual life and started to come to the Presbyterian church. Please pray for Sofia and the rest of our clients whose lives have been changing as we have been ministering to them.

We continue working with orphans and children from dysfunctional families. It is nice to see them smiling when our counselors come. We help them to see this life from a different point of view: we hope they will come to know God and believe that there is not only cruelty and lie in this world but also kindness and love. Please pray for these children.

 In February,  a remarkable couple, Gary and Susan Bauer, came to Odessa.  They made a film about our ministry.  Now the film is going to be released.  Some materials can be seen on our website as well as in Facebook (http://familycounseling-odessa.org/http://www.facebook.com/groups/343449999022260/).

 You probably know that our ministry is in a crisis situation because of financial problems.  Please pray for us to be able to continue our work. 

 May God bless you.

 Love in Christ, 

 Lena Kolker

Coordinator, Odessa Springs Psychological Counseling Center

In November there were 55 counseling sessions, 11 of them were free of charge. The clients were children, men and women from 13 to 68 years old. In most cases those were family, social adaptation, loneliness and lack of self-confidence problems.


We continue to intensively cooperate with the organizations that need help, those being: “Hope to the World” that deal with street children and orphans, orphan girls that left the orphanage and the “Dawn” Christian school. Vova and Angela Aleksandrovich, Svetlana Fedorenko, Victoria Varvarina and I (Lena Kolker) work with these children.  Vova teaches the boys sex education and communication skills.  Angela started working with the orphan girls.  They were very much excited about this communication and want Angela to visit them regularly (see pictures).


Svetlana continues teaching the homeless children: the girls come to see her willingly, some children asked Svetlana for individual counseling. Younger kids are also glad to see Svetlana: a boy (called Cyril, 6 years old) put together a game mosaic for the first time and was pleased with his work.  Before that he had refused for several months saying, “I will fail”. His sister Carina (14 years old) has not been smoking for two months thanks to Svetlana’s talks with her.


Victoria also deals with these children.  Her goal is to facilitate the children’s cooperation with adults, correcting social maladjustment, helping them learn classifying objects of this world,  broadening the worldview, developing attention and memory, improving fine motor skills.

Please pray for all those children.  They have a lot of needs:  the majority of them either have no parents or their parents are not reliable.  These children feel isolated in the society.  They cannot communicate to one another and they are angry with the whole world.


Also, Victoria wants to develop at our Center the work with women who have suffered from  abortion. Victoria initiated a discussion on this subject on the Internet Odessa forum and made a survey about the need of counseling before or after the abortion.  The majority of the people consider it helpful.  Also, Victoria gave the first individual counseling session for the woman (24 years old) who had suffered from abortion.


 I continue to conduct the classes for the women’s group of our church.  Also, I counsel the children of the Odessa Christian school, talk to the teachers and parents.


Pastor Valery Babynin and I continue conducting the drawing/painting lessons. This year we have a group of 5 to 6 adults.


Every Saturday Svetlana and Angela conduct a training session for two groups of psychology students and young specialists.  They share with them the materials that Dr Langston and the other visiting lecturers shared with us.


Alyona Semiohina conducts classes with parents every two weeks, speaking about parenting their children.


We thank our God for the fact that the number of our clients has increased.  I thank everybody who prayed and is still praying for our Center.  Please keep on praying for our ongoing work and for God to give us wisdom in our work with the clients.  Also, please pray for me getting the visa to the USA.  I will be very glad to meet you and talk to you.


May God bless all of you.


Love in Christ,


Lena Kolker,


The Odessa Springs Psychological Counseling Center