Belarus (MNN) — Have you watched HBO’s series on Chernobyl? The new show has people talking about the disaster from 33 years ago. But today, many communities in Ukraine and southern Belarus still face complications from the nuclear power plant accident.
Slavic Gospel Association’s Eric Mock says kids in the area suffer from the lasting effects of radiation poisoning. However, in an unaffected town in Belarus, SGA helps meet these children’s physical and spiritual needs at Camp Pearl.
“The effects of radiation in southern Belarus is almost incalculable. Some of the children that are born in the region are born with enlarged organs, thyroid problems, deformities, and it has been horrible to see how many children have actually suffered,” Mock says.
Unfortunately, in some surrounding areas outside of the radiation zone, radiation has contaminated the water. Camp Pearl, located in the unaffected town of Kobyrn, is equipped with an ultrasound device. The camp uses it to perform check-ups on the kids and detect early complications. Since radiation impacts the teeth, the camp also provides dental services.
But kids receive more than just physical aid and health services at Camp Pearl. They also are provided the opportunity to learn about Christ’s love.
“The harsh reality is radiation doesn’t go away overnight. It takes a long time when radiation [is] in the water…and in the soil. This problem is not going to go away. The problem of Chernobyl will not go away,” Mock says.
“But even in the midst of this tragedy from the ashes of the destruction of Chernobyl has been raised up new generations that are hearing the Gospel, new generations that are looking for answers. The church has been there to do that.”
Mock explains how missionary pastors move into this specific area despite the threat of radiation and risk of personal tragedy to ensure these people have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. SGA helps financially support both Camp Pearl and faithful churches opening their doors to those impacted by Chernobyl.
How to Help
As SGA’s saying goes, ‘much prayer, much power’. Will you join in praying for Camp Pearl and the faithful churches in Belarus?
Pray for God to move in these kids’ lives. Pray for His healing. Also, pray for hearts open to the Gospel at Camp Pearl. Finally, pray for the encouragement of these kids and those working to serve them.
Another way to help is by financially contributing to Camp Pearl’s work. As one can imagine, performing check-ups and keeping equipment up-to-date is expensive. If the stories from Chernobyl have moved your heart to compassion, will you give to Camp Pearl?
Header photo courtesy of Slavic Gospel Association.