Russia (MNN) — It’s not even Halloween yet, and many stores throughout the U.S. are already setting up Christmas wares. For orphans and other vulnerable children in Russia, Christmas can’t get here soon enough.
“They’re so excited when they hear the SOAR team is coming,” shares Richard Page, Executive Director of SOAR International Ministries.
“We’re seeing God open doors in amazing ways with this project that we never thought we would.”
SOAR began its “Stuff-A-Stocking” project in 2002 following a request from its Russian church partners. They wanted “to have a Christmas project that could share Christ’s love in a tangible way with orphans and children in needy families,” Page explains.
“The really unique thing about this project is it actually is a door opener…for many of the churches to have ongoing ministry in the orphanages.”
Through the Stuff-A-Stocking project, orphans receive Christmas stockings full of snacks, essential hygiene items, and a Bible. For some kids, it’s the first and only Christmas gift they’ve ever received.
Not only does this outreach bless the children involved, it softens the hearts of orphanage leaders.
“Because [the churches] came in as part of this project and the administrators saw that they were not a threat and that they were good people,” Page details, “they’ve invited them to come back on an ongoing basis.
“The [Stuff-A-Stocking] project has really opened a lot of ministry for the local churches, and that’s part of what we really want to do.”
As explained on its website, SOAR is a U.S.-based ministry that seeks to support the work of the Russian evangelical Church. This support work takes many different forms, from outreach projects like Stuff-A-Stocking to humanitarian aid distributions.
Each effort fulfills SOAR’s stated mission: To fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to the people of Russia and Abkhazia by coming alongside of, encouraging, and equipping Russian believers to reach their own people for Christ.
Want to stuff a stocking?
According to Page, the ministry hopes to deliver 2,500 stockings this Christmas season. “The project is centered around the Russian Christmas, which takes place January 7th,” he explains, which means they’re running out of time to get sponsors for all the stockings.
Click here to donate on SOAR’s website, and then select “Stockings & Bibles” from the drop-down list. It costs $40 to fill a stocking with snacks, essential hygiene items, a winter hat and gloves, and a Bible.
“Pray for the project, because it is a really effective tool for the local churches there in Russia. It’s an encouragement to them to be able to partner in a project like this.”
Header courtesy of SOAR International Ministries.