Russia (MNN) – The Slavic Gospel Association is finishing prep work for its Christmas outreach—Immanuel’s Child.
The outreach allows SGA to help Russian and Central Asian churches build bridges for the Gospel. Through SGA partner support, SGA sends resources to churches in Russia and Central Asia so they can put on Christmas programs, share Christian literature, and purchase gifts for children who feel hopeless. And for kids who return to the church after the outreach, they’re also provided with Sunday school materials.
And, for every $25 given, SGA has donors sign a paper Christmas star that says, “JESUS LOVES YOU,” on it. This star, along with the signature and location of the donor, is handed out with a gift to a child during the outreach.
“I can’t express to you how wonderful of a gift this paper star is to the kids on the other side of the world when they hear that an American family is desiring to pray for this child throughout the year,” SGA’s Eric Mock shares.
And rather than purchasing gifts in America to send overseas, churches use SGA provided funds to purchase gifts right where they’re at. This happens for two reasons.
Firstly, kids are interested in different types of toys in different regions. The same toy that would make a child happy in Russia might not interest a kid in Central Asia. Secondly, by purchasing locally, these churches invest in their communities.
But, all of these are just building blocks to the ultimate gift of Christ’s love through the Gospel.
“Years later we can walk into homes and actually see these paper stars hanging in the house…and every year we hear of people coming to faith,” SGA says. “The impact has just been overwhelming.”
How to Help
This year, SGA is hoping to reach twenty-thousand kids. And when the kids come to the Christmas programs, oftentimes so do adults. Parents accompany their children to make sure they’re safe while workers in orphanages do the same. So, while this Christmas outreach is geared towards kids, adults are hearing the Gospel through it, too. But to reach this number of children this year, the program funding needs a twenty-five percent increase.
“In general we have been trying to get all the donations in by December 1st,” Mock explains. “However, in the weeks that enter into December, we continue to try and send off the gifts. But due to shipping Bibles and shipping the stars over, as we progress into December it gets increasingly hard to get the stars, the funds, the Bibles and everything to the Church for the distribution in a timely manner with the Christmas holidays coming up.”
Will you help SGA support churches in giving a child the hope of Christ this holiday season? All it takes is $25 to provide a child in Russia or Central Asia with a Bible, a special Christmas present, follow-up by church members, and a Christmas star that say “JESUS LOVES YOU.”
To learn more about Immanuel’s Child, click here!
*Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 7th this year.