CIS (MNN)–January 7 marks Christmas for the Russian Orthodox Church. Believers in the region are reaching out to share Christmas with children in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Slavic Gospel Association’s Eric Mock says their ‘Immanuel’s Child’ and ‘Christmas for Orphans’ campaign helps with outreach. “We’re equipping them through the support of western churches with the resources to purchase gifts for these kids, but also to provide them Bibles and throughout the year, we provide them Sunday School materials.”
Churches in North America help fund the program by raising money and sending it over to national churches. With ‘Immanuel’s Child’, children get a Christmas ornament and, “They also get a special Christmas gift that’s purchased locally by the churches. They get a Russian language children’s Bible. They’ll get candy and nutritious fruit. They will get warm clothing and toiletry items.”
Under the ‘Christmas for Orphans’ program, Russian orphan with a wrapped Christmas gift of their very own, Russian-language Christian literature, and warm clothing or other much-needed items. These gifts will be purchased overseas and distributed by local evangelical churches across the former Soviet Union as part of their Christmas celebration. They are typically the only gifts these children receive, and they open doors for ongoing discipleship.
Having grown up under atheistic communism during the Soviet period, many mothers and fathers, and grandparents are desperate for their children to have the opportunities to learn about God that they were denied.
Mock explains that their work frequently touches the parents because of the kids. “The adults have been taught that the Christians are cultists and not to be trusted. So, for them to come and see the love of God through the lives of these churches, these people respond in incredible ways.”
There’s still time to respond. Click here if you want to be a part of either Christmas program for kids in the former Soviet Union.