The women of Hannah's Hands provide physical and emotional nourishment for hundreds of orphans who come through the Crisis Center. (Orphan Outreach photo)
Russia (MNN) ― It's no secret that Russia has an orphan problem.
Parentless children enter orphanages daily in the vast country, but where are they coming from?
Most start out in a Crisis Center.
In Crisis Center #15 in St. Petersburg, Russia, children brought in have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Many of the children suffer from diseases, including HIV and AIDS.
The consequences of neglect are evident in the children at the Center. Stunted cognitive, emotional, and social development, as well as physical problems, are just some of the results of a lack of care.
Once they arrive at the Center, their heads are shaved to prevent the spread of lice. Up to 20 infants and toddlers along with 40-60 older children fill the Center under the supervision of only one or two paid government workers.
The children stay in the Center for 30-90 days until they are placed into an orphanage.
When Orphan Outreach was alerted to the terrible understaffing problem of Crisis Center #15, help was immediately called for. The ministry's program, "Hannah's Hands," was developed to hire Christian women to help care for the children at the Center.
Hannah's Hands workers feed, bathe and pray over the orphans. The women offer the desperately vital touch and love that these children lack so severely.
However, a bump in the road has caused a huge problem for Hannah's Hands. Crisis Center #15 was closed for the second half of 2010 for much-needed renovations. Now that it has finally reopened, Orphan Outreach is in desperate need of funding to rehire women to care for the orphaned children there.
Support is needed for the women's salaries. A monthly salary is $400 for a full-time worker and $200 for someone who works part-time.
These women are likely the first images of Christ these children have ever seen. They live out James 1:27 on a daily basis. If you can help these women as they serve with just a meager salary, please click here.