MNN Shoe trip happening in Russia

By October 4, 2006

Russia (MNN) — The are more than 700,000 orphaned children in Russia. The numbers appear to be growing as HIV/AIDS grows and promiscuity increases. The need for assistance is great for those institutionalized — not just physical help, but emotional and spiritual.

That need has 19 American traveling with Buckner Orphan Care International on a Shoes of Orphan Souls trip in St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s also the trip that’s helping Mission Network News celebrate its 15th anniversary. The winner of our short-term mission trip give-away, Frank Haley, is also on the trip.

So far the team has traveled to two orphanages and one hospital, visiting children from infant to teenagers. The goal is to place new shoes on their feet, but also share the Gospel through vacation Bible school curriculum.

Haley says while the singing and dancing by the orphans has been entertaining, sharing the Gospel has been encouraging. “We’re showing the children that not only do we love them, but that God loves them. At first when see this kind of situation it’s overwhelming. And, you could just throw your hands up and say, ‘oh I can’t do anything about that,’ but we can and we tell more people about it, more people will see that and get involved.”

Others in the trip have been moved to tears, especially after hearing the stories of the children at the hospital — the first stop for children who are entering the system. One little girl was there because her step father beat her and her mother. Another 11 year old was there because a divorced mother couldn’t take care of her anymore. A three day old baby was just left in the street, unwanted by its parents.

This can’t help but bring deep emotion to a group of caring adults. Pray for the orphan situation in Russia. Pray that doors will reopen to allow even more adoptions. Pray too, that Russian Christians will feel compelled to help these suffering children through foster care and later adoption so they can point these kids to Christ.

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