Russia (MNN) — The Orphan Outreach /Mission Network News mission trip to Russia is coming to a close. 29 Mission Network News listeners traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia on August 12 to reach out to orphaned children in the region. The outreach took place not at orphanages, but at summer camps.
MNN's anchor and executive Greg Yoder is there. He says, "There are over 700,000 orphaned children in Russia alone. This week we visited five orphan camps in five days."
The first camp was a replacement camp, says Yoder. "Since we weren't able to go to Crisis Center 15 because of a chickenpox outbreak, we were able to go to another camp which was hosting Orphanage 60. It was a beautiful camp, and the caregivers loved the kids."
That particular camp hadn't had any visitors this summer. "While it wasn't our plan for chickenpox, God's plan was to have us with Orphanage 60 kids. The skit we did had an impact, too."
Team member Robin Tomkins says it was a play depicting Jesus' love for sinners and had a significant impact. "The 'Everything' skit that we did left a big impact on kids, just watching their expressions. A lot of questions have come up from it, such as who Jesus is."
According to Yoder, another camp was displaced by fire and cold spiritually. "That camp appears to be run by a dictator, so I won't tell you which one it was. But the caregivers were cold, and the kids were cold. They hardly interacted with us. It was discouraging at first, but God allowed us to present the skit, and a few seemed interested."
The skit wasn't a stand-alone presentation; it was followed by team member testimonies. "I was able to tell them exactly what the skit was about and talk about the fact that they're either a slave to sin or Christ and that in reality, we have NO freedom," says Yoder. "I told them that Christ died for the unlovely sinners. He gave His life for people that are actually His enemy and it didn't matter the sin, it was paid for at the cross for those who know Him."
That presentation prompted one of the interpreters to share Christ with a girl who's set to leave the orphanage in the fall.
At that same camp, another girl asked many questions. While no professions of faith were made, seeds were planted and watered," says Yoder.
Pray for the kids as they return to the orphanages next week.
If you'd like to join Orphan Outreach on a trip, they have a medical mission trip to Guatemala coming in the fall. Nurses are needed. Click here for more information.