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/ 


              Report for November 2009
The Odessa Springs Family Counseling Center 

At present we have the following groups working at our Center:

1. a group of children’s development, 4 years old (classes take place 2 times a week);

2.  a preschool preparation study group  (classes take place once a week);

3.  an English children’s group from 3 to 5 years old (classes take place 2 times a week);

In November the work of the personality development group was finished and now recruitment of another group is planned.

We are planning to start soon an art therapeutic group on drawing study (Monart technique). Please pray for this group to be gathered.


At the November general meeting of the counselors and teachers of our Center we decided to give clients a Christmas offer for the advertising and charity purposes.  From November 18 to December 30 we decided on giving free of charge individual counseling sessions every Wednesday. As of today we have had two free Wednesdays.  For those two days we gave 17 counseling sessions!  There could have been more if we had had more rooms for counseling. We had to enlist the people in advance because a lot of them wanted an appointment for a free counseling session.

I am glad that we have succeeded in drawing attention to us and helping people, but I can see that establishing oneself at the market of psychological services in this country is very and very difficult. Please pray for God to continue sending clients further on.


Thank you for all the prayers and support. In Christ,
Lena Kolker,
Coordinator,the "Springs" Psychological Counseling Center

The Report for November 2008The Odessa Springs Family Counseling Center Dear brothers and sisters!  This is what was going on in the Odessa Springs FCC in November. Lena Chutygina and I tried again to get the group of development for children together. We were placing announcements again and were inviting people. And, thanks be to God, our efforts were crowned with success. On December 1, we conducted the first session with children and their parents. 4 children with their moms came to us. We have a meeting with the children and the parents in the big room, and then Lena Chutygina goes with the parents to my room and conducts classes there with them, and I remain in the big room and continue to be busy with the children. Our sessions are scheduled twice a week. Please pray that these parents continue to bring to us their children and also that 1 or 2 more children would join the group (then the group will be complete). Also, in the past month, we made the schedule for all the groups and counseling sessions which will be conducted by our counselors. We placed this schedule on our web-site (the schedule is in Russian): http://familycounseling-odessa.org Sasha Popov made up the advertising booklet for our centre, and I hope that we will be able to print it soon.  In general, we will need to produce a lot of various advertising materials so that people will learn about our existence and turn to us for help. Svetlana Fedorenko continues individual counseling sessions in the big room of our office. Lena Chutygina and I met the director of a Christian school (not the one that is affiliated with our church) and talked about possible cooperation. The director asked us to work with one of their groups (children of 9-10), because there are problems there. Lena began working with these children. Every month the local Association of Practicing Psychologists carries out various events for their members who are practicing psychologists so that psychologists could raise their professional level and share their experience. In November, Lena Chutygina and I attended a master class on art therapy (the Monart school, developed by Mona Brooks, http://monart.com). These master classes are planned to be held every month. The master classes are conducted by an art therapist from America who works in Odessa with children who have serious problems with health.  Thank you for your participation in the work of our centre, for your prayers, support, and encouragement. Please pray that God may send to us people whom we can help. May the Lord bless all of you! Lena Kolker, coordinator of the Springs FCC

Christian Counseling Center of Odessa

American counseling center helps the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ukraine

ул. Пастера, 62, г.Одесса, 65023, Украина

тел: (048) 735-7848, email: erika@te.net.ua 



In July 2007, a group of 25 Presbyterian businessmen/women met in Birmingham, Alabama -- almost all of whom had been to visit us in Ukraine. they decided to form the Odessa Christian Business Center and the Odessa Christian Counseling Center. They agreed to work with Erika Shteker of Odessa to organize these, as well as to promote Christian ethics and life skills in the Odessa church, as well as outreach to the community.

Those interested in news of these centers or participation can contact Erika at this address:
              This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Our church provides Pastoral counseling, but the needs of our people are often quite complex, especially given the dearth of solid marriages and family networks across the former Soviet Union. There is a great need for Christian counseling here, and the pastors are already overwhelmed with the pastoral responsibilities. The social structures in Ukraine rarely provide much support for individuals or families which could be considered compatible with Christian principles. Even Christians who are counselors have invariably received no instruction on how to integrate their skills with their Christian beliefs.

When professional counselor Langston Haygood visited Odessa in 2005 with a team from Birmingham, AL, he felt a burden to fill this void. He taught pastoral counseling in our seminary (www.ersu.org) and established a series of professional-level seminars in Odessa. He has made good use of the many resources of the Christian Counseling Center of Birmingham, of which he is president. Agreements were made with the Free Christian Humanitarian/Economic University of Odessa, and UCIPTS was born (the Ukrainian Christian Institute of Psychology and Theological Studies).

These students, however, many of whom are already practicing at some level in a limited way, have no place to practice in an openly Christian manner. New practices and new techniques need to be formed within this context. A Center is badly needed to which pastors and psychologists can send referrals, and where Reformed biblical principles can be lived out.

In July, 2007, a group of businessmen in a meeting in Birmingham decided to form the Odessa Business Center, and the Counseling Center will be one of its first businesses.

            The Odessa Counseling Center will have 4 main areas of activity:

1) Offering education in Christian counseling through UCIPTS, cooperation with KGU (Christian Humanitarian and Economic University), Samford, Belhaven, etc.

2) Accepting counselor trainees as apprentices and helping them integrate their training and begin operating on a professional level (including the establishment of their practice as a new business),

3) Establishing a place where actual counseling activities can be carried out, where training can take place, and which will become a hub and orientation for the activities of the counselor trainees.

4) Carrying out effective Christian counseling for pay, but also partially as a service to church and community, paid by sponsors as a ministry to the needy.

The Counseling Center is not a ministry of the church or under its oversight, but it is made up of an international board, whose Ukrainian members are members of the Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ukraine.

We ask for your prayers and participation. Those interested in assisting or taking part should write to:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the USA (a 501(c)(3) organization):
Odessa Counseling Center
Pathway Ministries, inc.
2204 Lakeshore Dr., Suite 212
Birmingham, AL 35209

In Ukraine:
Ms. Erika Shteker, Director, Odessa Counseling Center, 62 Pastera Street, Odessa, Ukraine 65023
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel.: +380482-673412 Mobile +380-63-735-7848

In early 2008, Lena Kolker, a licensed Ukirainian child psychologist from Odessa church, became director of the Family Counseling Center of Odessa, freeing Erika to develop the Business Center. Lena has done a wonderful job renting and outfitting the office, recruiting and interviewing trained Christian counselors, and organizing the activities at the center. They have chosen the name "Rodnik," meaning "Springs," since Jesus is the source of eternal life that springs up in us by God's grace, giving abundant life to us and our families.  

Their website:  http://familycounseling-odessa.org/en 
  (some pages are more current if you switch to Russian)

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