Russia (MNN) — Summer is just around the corner. April showers are going to turn into May flowers soon, and then the warm weather begins. Just because the warm weather has begun, we cannot forget about the impact of Christmas ministries.
Russian Ministries serves children in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and other nations at Christmastime by providing them with The Gift of Hope. Their goal for the January 2013 holiday was to provide 70,000 packages to children–5,000 more than last year.
The ministry is excited to report that they far exceeded that goal! Almost 75,000 people were reached when Russian Ministries distributed Gifts of Hope to 60,000 people in Russia, 10,000 in Ukraine, and 3,000 in Moldova.
The daughter of Mission Network News executive director, Greg Yoder, was born in Irkutsk. This Christmas, she wanted to send gifts to the orphanage that she lived in prior to her adoption by the Yoder family. She raised enough money to send 150 gifts to that particular orphanage.
In Omsk, Russia, an orphanage that caters to children with special needs received over 1,500 Gifts of Hope. Gifts were also given to children who attended summer Bible camps in the region of Chechnya. The project in total involved over 400 churches and reached 3,400 volunteers.
One little girl, Liza, was so excited when a team dropped off a Christmas gift that "she had tears of joy because someone had thought of and remembered her," said one of the team members in a release.
In one-on-one home visits, the outreach team gave gifts to needy families. They also took this opportunity to share the Gospel, where many people were in tears. One father said he did not think such generous people existed anymore, and he brought his whole family to church the next Sunday.
This past Christmas season was a success. Many children received love when they normally are ignored. Many heard the Gospel for the first time. Pray that what they heard will be remembered. Pray that the children will remember that they are loved.