This is Raatz's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Raatz's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
I serve as area director with AGWM in Russia and Belarus.
Interests: hobbies: reading, trapping, woodworking passions: three great kids and a beautiful wife, serving god, teaching leadership development and I would give too much money for: a great medium-rare steak, sharp cheddar cheese, first edition's of any quality book, hunting
Recent Activity
It has probably been a year since I even opened up my blog. There has been so much activity in our lives over the last year that it has been the farthest from my mind. But my ONE goal for this 2017 is to establish a daily writing pattern. I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2017 at Ministry From The Far Side
One of the huge challenges for many nations of in Eurasia, Russia included, is the issue of visas and permits. We all live with the looming question, "How are we going to stay and minister here?" That challenge remains in both friendly and unfriendly countries, developed and undeveloped areas. Our... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2016 at Ministry From The Far Side
It is Friday night in St. Petersburg. I am sitting in our living room, writing these few thoughts while Natalie and Lauren sleep in the other room. The house is quiet, the city is slowing down, and the rain showers start and stop upon the hour. At the same time,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2014 at Ministry From The Far Side
I've been pleasantly surprised by our move to Russia. Of course, there are always surprises about any move, especially to another country. We had already spent over ten years in Moldova, and I knew the system, the markets, and nearly every road. I'd eaten countless Moldovan meals, picnicked with friends,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2014 at Ministry From The Far Side
With the switch to the new responsibility in Russia, I have found that one task that has been laid aside was my writing. The learning curve has been steep, and I've still not learned the scheduling for time with my new travel demands. My goal in 2014 is to amend... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2013 at Ministry From The Far Side
Russia. The switch has not been many months, but I am starting to get excited. The needs are enormous. The possibilities are immense. But God is so much bigger. I just got back from a week-long trip to Russia, traveling to Krasnodar and to Khabarovsk. I met with our workers... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2013 at Ministry From The Far Side
Perception is 9/10 of reality. Isn't that the saying? The problem is that perception is NOT reality, and is often incorrect. I merely mention this fact because it is a constant struggle with those who serve in missions. We often live in "exotic" places, and our travels take us to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2013 at Ministry From The Far Side
We are flying back home to Moldova on Friday, only three days from the day I'm writing this post. It's been a month in the US, and we are all ready to be home. We came for the World Missions Summit, then needed to add time to get our Russia... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2013 at Ministry From The Far Side
I am sure it is a part of getting older, but it is hard to make out a Christmas Wish List for myself now. makes it nicer (with those wish lists on the side). And yes, I do have one, mostly with some camping or photography wishes. Many of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
Celebrating Nancy's birthday today, another year gone by. It isn't a major milestone, but once again, I'm reminded of the swiftness of time and the need to savor the moment. Too often I find myself flying through a day, never stopping to look around and fix the memory of the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
The theme of brokenness and being poor in the spirit has been echoing around me for a number of years. A great friend of both us and the work here is Kyle Miller, a counsellor that has been a great support to Freedom Home. His main teaching centers on the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
In my heart, I think I'll always be a pastor. I'm not a pastor in the formal, liturgical way. But I'm a pastor in the way I think, in my desire to see people grow spiritually, finding their purpose in the body of Christ. One way that comes out is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
I just sent my e-letter out, and I'm writing additions to the letter that I didn't have space to fit in! FINALLY...that word means a lot. It comes when God finally brings a vision to reality. It comes when we see the miracle we've waiting so long for. It comes... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
I recently wrote in my latest e-letter about our upcoming change. Taking the role of area director gives me a lot of mixed feelings. There is a sense of loss because we love Moldova, the churches, pastors, and fellow missionaries. We REALLY love the girls and their kids at Freedom... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
A few weeks ago Andy & I had a very surprising call. Our regional director over Eurasia called Andy asking that we'd interview for the job of Area Directors of Russia. We had no clue about the change in Russia and were in total shock. We didn't want to leave... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2012 at Popcorn For Dinner
I have been getting the question a lot lately--"How is your support?" As most of you know, our missions organization schedules us to be back in the US one year every 5 or 6 years. We spend this year reconnecting to churches and supporters, sharing about the value of missions,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
As a quick update to what's going on....another location for ministry to survivors of trafficking! Over the last year, Olga has been serving in the home in Moldova. Her church in Russia sent her to serve the year with us, learning first hand about ministering to survivors of trafficking. One... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
I've been thinking about Moses lately, particularly the time when he needed assistance to win the battle. Really, it wasn't Moses that was winning the battle, but the Lord, but for some strange reason, the victory depended on Moses's hands being raised. If his hands dropped, the Israelites began to... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
I have felt led for a number of weeks to challenge the women and staff to make this year a time of specific prayer. God has already done such great things in the lives of each woman and child. We need to pray that God will continue to do even... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
Three weeks ago, we led a summit in Istanbul entitled Freedom Summit. This summit was a long time in the planning, a result of scores of questions, emails, and conversations. It was for one purpose--to move people to action in developing front-line ministries to survivors of trafficking. The summit was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
As we spend this year in the US, my life is one of constant motion. My responsibilities are predominantly speaking, traveling from church to church, group to group, lunch to lunch. I'm here to REPORT on what God has been doing, sharing about the past 9 years. I am here... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
"Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness." I read this verse this morning while traveling. That verb "pursue" seemed to leap off the page at me. It is an intense word, full of a myriad of connections. Years ago, I “pursued” my wife, interested in getting to know her... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2012 at Ministry From The Far Side
In AG World Missions, we do not operate with a predetermined salary, given budget, or central organization. We are a faith-based missions organization, dependent on individuals and churches. We raise our support and pledges, and out of that, the organization gives us a salary, with the rest going to the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2011 at Ministry From The Far Side
Last Sunday I had the privilege of sharing at Abundant Life Community Church in Alton, IL. They did something this year that will turn out to be a huge blessing to Freedom Home in Moldova. Their youth group bought a car. Actually, they made a committment to raise money for... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2011 at Ministry From The Far Side
Yesterday I heard a comment that I've heard a thousand times. Someone was introducing us to a group, and he said, "Andy and Nancy are missionaries to Moldova." Something stopped within me. Is that who I am? I think I am a person, who serves in the role of missionary.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2011 at Ministry From The Far Side