Love holds the promise of a future for kids in Russia

By August 23, 2010

Russia (MNN) — Mission Network News sister station WaY-fm
and Orphan Outreach took a team of 21 to St. Petersburg, Russia last week. The
team spent the week doing hands-on evangelism with orphans. 

All of their work centered around on camp ministry to four orphanages. The kids are sent to these camps, outside the city of St. Petersburg for a break.

The MNN/WaY-fm team loved on and played with children who have been abused,
neglected, or abandoned. MNN's Greg Yoder shared this report:

"I'm standing in the campgrounds of Orphanage Number 14, and we've been
sharing the Gospel. We've seen probably close to 200 kids.
We have planted seeds, and we've watered seeds. God is going to make them grow." 

The goal of Orphan Outreach in Russia is to involve and empower local churches to do the work of orphan care. The ministry focus is on orphan graduates — those orphans who are leaving the orphanage system.

Because the future for those who "age out" of the system is bleak, Orphan Outreach has begun to support local orphanages and ministries to bridge a child's transition from orphan care to independent living.

But reading a story doesn't really TELL the story. Lives are changing–and not just those of the kids in Russia. Team members won't come back home the same. The tragedy they've
seen in the faces of the children with whom they spent the week will stay with them. They'll
start sharing how God moved, and the more people who see that for themselves, the more their lives are changed and they tell the story and so on.

ministry's Russia director, Olga Vlasenko, says people are needed to go on this next trip: "Not just for the kids, but even for the caregivers and for the director–they can see your love."

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