Russia (MNN) — Do you remember your first Christmas stocking?
A simple stocking can bring great joy to a child–particularly in orphanages in Russia. Why? Because these kids rarely receive personalized gifts. One ministry is making a difference in the lives of orphaned children with their "Stuff a Stocking" campaign.
SOAR International Ministries based in Alaska is asking you to help provide a gift at Christmas for a child who receives little, if any, love during this special time of the year.
SOAR Director Dick Page says SOAR's focus is to "assist the church in Russia in completing or accomplishing the Great Commission. That ends up being mostly working with orphans and street kids and the doors for the church to have that kind of ministry."
SOAR does that by providing tools requested by the local church. "Stuff a Stocking" is just one tool. "We provide the churches with stockings stuffed with gifts that include hygiene items and school items. We also pack a Russian Children's Bible with that. Those are all personalized with a letter from people who sponsor them."
You can sponsor a stocking and send a Bible for $40. "It's amazing to watch the kids faces when they get a letter from a complete stranger who cares about them. And, we have translators who read the letters to the kids."
As you get involved, you're ensuring these young people hear the Gospel. "They will actually get a presentation of the Gospel, both from our team and the local church. The Gospel message is printed in Russian Scripture on the back of your letter that you give the child, and then they also receive the Russian Children's Bible."
The goal this year is 5,000 stockings. According to Page, this empowers the local church. "By going in with our projects, we're able to take the local church in as a partner, and then they're welcome to come back after they've been in with one of our projects."
SOAR is actively recruiting team members to distribute gifts at Christmas, Easter, and for camping ministry over the summer months. If you'd like information on any of these programs, click here.