Russia (MNN) — In Russia, Easter is a big deal–more so than Christmas. And even though not everyone in Russia is a Christian, nearly all of them still celebrate this holiday.
Lana Yusov, the administrator of children’s ministries with Slavic Gospel Association, explains, “Easter is a very religious holiday in Russia, and many non-believers also kind of celebrate Easter. So that’s a good opportunity to invite believers and non-believers to local churches.”
Because Easter has been so deeply ingrained into the Russian culture, it provides the perfect opportunity for churches to minister to non-believers. This holiday season, Slavic Gospel Association is helping churches do just that.
“Usually churches prepare plays for children, and after the play a pastor shares the Word of God. We make sure each person who comes for Easter outreach receives literature,” says Yusov.
The literature handed out is anything from Christian books for children to brochures and evangelistic books, and if appropriate, Bibles.
Easter also presents an opportunity for SGA and local churches to follow up with the children they serve during Christmas through SGA’s ministry, Immanuel’s Child.
“Some churches use puppet shows, some churches ask the children to prepare a play, but each play or puppet show….[has] a strong evangelical message about Christ, His resurrection, His death, and the good news He brought to us,” explains Yusov.
SGA and its partner churches have seen an impact from the Easter outreach ministry. Yusov exclaims, “We see so many good things. We saw that non-believing children started attending Sunday school, and after attending Sunday school, they started bring their parents [and grandparents] to local churches.”
Quite often, about half of the children and families who begin attending church during the Easter holiday continue to do so after the holiday.
The growth can be seen in the numbers. Churches have seen their Sunday school classes grow after the outreach ministries from just a couple of kids to dozens, and every year the numbers keep on growing.
SGA strives to work with local churches in Russia to reach all children, both those who have families and those who are orphaned and homeless.
Would you help SGA continue ministering to the children and adults of Russia?
Here’s How to Help
Prayer: Pray for God’s provision and His work of the Gospel in the hearts of the Russians.
Donate: SGA needs financial support to continue assisting churches and providing for their ministry needs in order to reach the Russian people.
To donate to SGA’s children’s ministry, click here.