Building a playground, bringing hope.

By May 19, 2006

Russia (MNN) — The Caucasus region of Russia is in the news again. Violence rocked the state of Ingushetia, where a terrorist bomb killed a senior police official and 6 others in the city of Nazran on Wednesday. The attack appears to have been a planned assassination on the deputy interior minister Dzhabrail Kostoyev, who had survived several other assassination attempts in recent years.

There was also another siege attempt at a school near Beslan, by the same terrorists who attacked School Number 1 in Beslan almost 2 years ago, killing more than 300.

In North Ossetia, the region west of Ingushetia, Russian Ministries’ Sergey Rakhuba says the people of Beslan are living in fear with the constant unrest. But God’s people are bringing hope…in the form of a playground. Rakhuba says, “40 volunteers, Christians from US and Canada, came to give their time, their money, to build this wonderful playground for children in Beslan, that tomorrow, at the dedication ceremony will be dedicated to God and the churches around the area will know that this is the place where lots of volunteers (are) giving their time, their love to children in Beslan, and this place will be dedicated to ministry, to God.”

The response to the Beslan tragedy and the involvement of believers worldwide is encouraging the church in Beslan, and Rakhuba says he’s seeing God work. “There’s a significant response, and I see how evangelical Christians are becoming active in the entire area, not just in Beslan, reaching out to their communities.”

The playground is being built by Russian Ministries, in partnership with Kids Around the World and Samaritan’s Purse. The goal is to enable ministry to happen and bring hope to a region still suffering.

Jim Rosene with Kids Around the World explains how a playground impacts ministry: “The playground becomes the bridge or the door, but it begins building a bridge to those who have the responsibility of leadership within a community and to be able to see if we can use that as we build that relationship, to truly do what we want to do, of ministering and reaching the children.

Fear and despair still paralyze many in Beslan, and Rosene says the people desperately need hope and healing, “It seems like it’s something that’s just gripped the city. It seems like there’s no hope, and that’s why we’ve come in, and hoping to instill some of that hope within the lives of children and families.”

Russian Ministries is providing encouragement through the love and hope of Christ, and Rosene sees it as an opportunity for God’s people to really make a difference, “As Christians, we’re known by our love, and we’ve got to be able to step out at times and give the gift of love and then to be able to use that as an opportunity to build some relationships with people.”

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