Christians needed for Christmas outreach in Russia

By November 25, 2008

Russia (MNN) — As Christmas approaches, Christians around the world are being asked to help fuel Christmas ministries. Russian Ministries is just one organization that's planning to reach out to kids throughout the former Soviet Union through Project Hope: The Great Gift Exchange.

Vice President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says the program is targeting kids. "According to a recent news report, there are about five million street kids, and the number is growing. Working with the evangelical church in Russia, we want to empower them to go out and reach out to street kids, orphans and families."

Rakhuba is asking Christians to donate $25 to help with this outreach. "That will be immediately transferred to Russia where churches will buy enough gifts to go out and deliver those gifts to all those children who need hope for this Christmas."

The $25 does more than provide a great Christmas gift. "There's a Bible or other Christian age-appropriate literature that will tell the child about the story of Jesus. It will tell the child how to start building a relationship with Jesus Christ."

For older kids, the Bibles are written in both Russian and English. "Kids love that because they think they can learn English reading that Bible."

Rakhuba says empowering the Russian church through this program is a bridge to future ministry. "Later on, when those children are invited to summer camps, they will be invited to Sunday school classes, and that's when hope starts growing in their hearts, when they learn more about Jesus."

Time is short, and the goal is ambitious, says Rakhuba. "We are hoping to provide 30,000 Gifts of Hope for poor children. They will be distributed to refugees in the Northern Caucuses near Georgia and Chechnya, as well as four provinces in the arctic Siberia in the central part of Russia."

While the world faces an economic crisis, Rakhuba says, "$25 will not impact the family budget that much, but $25 sent overseas to Russia can change an entire family. It can change a community."

If you'd like to help Russian Ministries Project Hope: The Great Gift Exchange, click here or call (in the U.S.) 1-888-462-7639.

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