Russia (MNN) — 5,000 kids in the former Soviet Union won't all get to go to camp this year and hear the Gospel unless help is found. That's the message from the Vice President of Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba.
"Because the oil prices [have gone] up, the economy is a little shaky in the States, the price for groceries in the former Soviet Union went up 20-percent, and the dollar is down–this all combined affects us negatively," says Rakhuba.
He says the unexpected increases in fuel, food, and dollar devaluation have caused camp costs to skyrocket. "We still need about $75,000 to help these young children to go to these summer camps and hear the Good News about Jesus."
Russian Ministries pledged to national churches that they would help send 5,000 kids to camp. Rukhuba says if the money isn't raised, these kids will lose more than the Christian summer camp experience. "Missiologists [tell us] if a child hears the Gospel before he is 14, [there's] an 85-percent chance he will remain in the Christian community and will continue following Jesus for the rest of his life. If we don't get these funds, we will lose this opportunity to present them with the Gospel."
According to Rakhuba, this ministry is 100-percent effective, not just for evangelism. "This is not just a ministry to children: this is also a ministry to a next generation of church leaders — young people who have received some training — they use it as a practicum in their future development as ministry leaders."
Camps are underway, but they could be cut short if fund falls short. Rakhuba says as young people come to Christ and later become leaders, there's no telling what could happen. "This is not just a gift: this is an eternal investment in somebody's life. With [this] investment, we can impact an entire generation."