MNN goes to Russia for Christmas

By January 4, 2008

Russia (MNN) — Christmas in much of the world falls on December 25. However, in Slavic areas of the world like Russia, Christmas is January 7. This year, Russian Ministries and Mission Network News are traveling to Russia to make Christmas special for poor orphans and street kids.

Vice President for Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says many children in Russia have incredible needs. "According to official national statistics in Russia, there are about 750,000 orphans who live in those so-called orphanages. At the same time, unofficially, people say that there are two to three million street kids who wander on the streets of large cities."

While Russian Ministries is training next generation church leaders, they're also reaching out to those who are the most needy. Previously, they reached out to children through a shoe box gift box program. However, that program now has been blocked by the government.

But this year, Mission Network News is joining Russian Ministries in the Greatest Gift Exchange – Project of Hope. MNN's anchor and executive director Greg Yoder says, "We adopted a little girl from Russia 5 years ago this month. Russia is full of baby homes and orphanages. These kids look so forward to having visitors and visitors bringing gifts. If we can provide those gifts, coupled with the Gospel, we can make a big difference in the lives of these kids."

Rakhuba says Russian Ministries-trained next generation church leaders will also use these gifts to start a relationship with street kids. He's praying that those relationship will develop to a point where they begin asking questions about Christ.

The team will travel outside of Moscow to a street kids' winter camp over the weekend, Then they'll be traveling to the arctic north to visit kids in the tundra. Yoder says, "I hope in some small way these special little ones will see and understand why we've come from so far away to give them gifts. I'm sure they won't completely understand, but perhaps this will be something that not only brings them a little temporary happiness but eternal joy."

Pray that young ones will turn to Christ.

You can follow the Russian Ministries/Mission Network News team at http://gregorysyoder.wordpress.com/

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