Immanuel’s Child outreach gearing up in former Soviet Union

By December 22, 2005

CIS (MNN) — Churches in North America are partnering with churches in the former Soviet Union to reach out to children at Christmas. That area of the world celebrates Christmas with the Russian Orthodox Church on January 7th, Christians are being asked to pray for an outreach called Immanuel’s Child, a Christmas outreach of Slavic Gospel Association .

SGA’s Joel Griffith says, “This year Immanuel’s Child is going to be taking place in 10 locations. Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan. We’re also going to be having an Immanuel’s Child outreach in the city of Beslan, Russia.”

Churches in North America help fund the program by raising money and sending it over to national churches. Griffith says 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.”

Nearly 10,000 young people will receive the gifts this year.

Griffith is asking Christians to pray because government approval of this kind of outreach may vary. “For instance, Ukraine is probably one of the freest places for ministry for evangelical churches, but then you go to a place like Turkmenistan, heavily Muslim in nature, and it’s very, very, very difficult to work there.”

As the outreach gets going, Griffith is asking people to pray. “Pray for the children themselves and the caregivers. Pray that the Holy Spirit would open their hearts as the Gospel is presented and that many of these children will come to saving faith.”

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