Rod Light | September 30, 2019

Kristina and Kaela are pleased to be freshman at LPU, thanks to a generous gift from Foursquare Missions International!

Kristina Pashchenko, a Foursquare pastor’s daughter from Saint Petersburg, Russia is thrilled to be a freshman at Life Pacific University. She and friend Kaela Cecil, daughter of Foursqurae missionaires, are adjusting to their new home, culture, and customs in America versus their urban environment in Russia.

“San Dimas surprised me with its beautiful surroundings, the hot weather, palm trees and the view of the mountains,” Kristina says. She says it is a stark contrast to the cathedrals and historic buildings of Saint Petersburg.

Kaela, who has spent much of her life in Russia, says people there keep to themselves and don’t smile or speak to strangers. “America is a much friendlier culture and people are much warmer,” she says. “It's very strange when someone says hi while we are waiting at the crosswalk. It's something I'm still getting used to.”

Kristina and Kaela enrolled at LPU and soon discovered that international students who enroll at U.S. universities are required to pay a full year’s tuition up front or demonstrate that they have the funds available to meet their financial obligations.

Hoping to find the necessary funds to allow the young women to begin classes, LPU reached out to Foursquare Missions International Director Ted Vail for financial assistance. FMI generously provided the necessary funds to ensure that Kristina and Kaela could pursue their dream of earning a university degree at LPU.

“This is my dream come true,” Kristina says. “I am very thankful for the generous gift from FMI. It is a tremendous blessing to my family. I want to be the best student I can be and soak in as much as I can.”

Her dream after graduation is to provide pastoral care to ministers of Foursquare churches and the larger Body of Christ in Europe. “My expectation is that while I am at LPU God will open up doors and give me specific directions for the next step in my life and ministry,” Kristina says.

She plans to move back home to Europe and use the tools she will gain as a student in the Human Development and Psychology program at LPU. Christian counseling in Europe is undeveloped, Kristina says, and she believes her education during the next four years will equip her to bring health and wellness to families and churches.

Kaela agrees and says being a missionary has influenced her life in every way and she is grateful that FMI continues to invest in her future even though she no longer serves as a missionary. She says God has called her to begin her college education at LPU where she is also majoring in Human Development and Psychology.

“This is an amazing school and an amazing major, so I am very excited to be here,” Kaela says.

Kristina and Kaela have already connected with Global Life Interim Director Aimee Selby and offered their assistance to encourage other students to get involved in serving God and His church around the world. A dynamic rapport between LPU and FMI continues to connect students with global missional work and personnel.

“Having FMI staff and missionaries on campus allows relationships to develop between our students and the field personnel who serve in the areas where our students are called to serve,” Aimee says.

Aimee believes LPU is able to provide students with better understanding of how they can serve at all levels of global life. “I believe that a strong partnership between Global Life and FMI is absolutely essential if we are to fulfill our mission of equipping students to serve God in the church, the workplace, and the world,” Aimee says.

Life Pacific University welcomes donations for international students like Kaela and Kristina. If you would like to help, please contact the LPU Advancement Department.