Belarus (SGA/MNN) — Belarus is both politically and economically unstable. About 80% of all industry remains in state hands.
Roughly 27% of the population lives below the poverty line. As a result, there's more family breakdown, divorce, parental substance abuse, and violence. There are growing numbers of abused and neglected children and social orphans, too.
Despite the difficult context, Children's Hunger Fund (CHF) and Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) have partnered together to respond. Through CHF's Belarus Mercy Network, believers serve children in government-run orphanages. CHF challenges leaders, pastors, and volunteers to examine the foundations of compassion ministry found in Scripture and to apply biblical principles in serving the poor in their communities.
Following this training, nearly 20 SGA-sponsored missionary pastors began sharing both humanitarian aid and the Gospel. CHF was providing food products for the most needy while SGA partners are helping to fund the distribution costs.
The pastors report that hearts are already beginning to soften to Christ's love:
God has blessed me to be able to visit and talk with 14 families. There is a man who is very open to the Gospel. He is blind and has only one leg. In addition to food, we gave him a CD by SGA's Dr. Roman Dechtiarenko which contains teaching on salvation. This man has asked us many questions about the Bible and is now visiting the church and seeking the Lord! Another man named Mikhail has repented, and we now have nine new children attending our Sunday school! Brothers and sisters, I thank you for your prayers and encouragement in our ministry.
Alexei Bakunovich —
I have visited ten families who live in desperate conditions in our region. Many have no job or their jobs bring them very little income. At first, it wasn't easy to talk with them. The people didn't know what to expect and what we might ask them to do in return for our help. But we have simply helped them, and now many are expressing much joy, and are openly talking with us about their problems-and about God! There are some who are hesitant about coming to church, but others allow their children to come to our Sunday school. God obviously has begun to work in the hearts of the children, and their parents.
Yuri Romanchik —
Please continue to pray for the missionary pastors and receiving families as these distributions continue. Also pray for God's provision in funding the necessary travel and related costs.