Russia (MNN) — After just two days of convening in Russia, a team set out to reach drug addicts and kids in Siberia.
The Operation Mobilization team spent two days at a conference at the OM Russia base in Novosibirsk. A team of Russian, and then the entire group of Americans, Poles and an Uzbek set off on a five-hour drive to the neighboring towns of Karasuk and Bagan, in the heart of Siberia.
Their task was to run a children's program in each town and to encourage the small local churches in whatever way they could. But the trip was far more than just an encouragement to those being served.
One Polish team member was able to glean ideas for better reaching out to drug addicts in his own community. "My church is just starting to work with drug addicts in Poland, and we don't have much experience yet," explained the team member. "I was so encouraged by the testimonies of the young men in that centre who had come to God and had been set free from drugs."
"It is staggering to reflect on how their lives have changed–from drug addicts to helping on a Christian children's program," added a U.S. team member after watching former addicts reach kids in children's ministries. "Only God could do that."
Others were transformed by the kids camps. "Before we left, I had some doubts about the effectiveness of these children's camps: what could we hope to achieve with these children in just three days?" noted one Russian teammate. "But after chatting with some of the boys, they showed me how they had remembered lessons and Bible verses from previous programs run by OM Russia. I'm sure that when they face difficult situations in their lives, these children will remember the truths we've told them."
Drug addicts and kids were all reached with the Gospel message throughout the short trip, but the encouragement that they brought to the team members provided insight for the team members, as well. Pray that change would ensue in the hearts of all reached through this trip.
To learn more about Operation Mobilization, visit www.om.org.