Orphan population growing, churches are being proactive

By March 31, 2010

Russia (MNN) — The orphan problem in Russia is still growing. The orphan population numbers more than 700,000 and many of these young people will eventually turn to drugs, organized, crime or will die by the time they're young adults.

Ismail Arslan with Buckner International says he's getting Christians in the St. Petersburg area involved. "I try to find volunteers from Russian churches who can serve God in the orphanages and bring His love to orphans and care for them spiritually and materially, too. We have only seven churches who can help orphans through Buckner."

Arslan says they need even more churches to help the more than 300 orphans in the 10 orphanages they're serving.

Arslan says the recruiting of churches is fairly new. But he's excited about who God is using. "Most of the people who comes from churches are mostly young [people]. And, what's amazing is that most of them are men. The orphanage workers are mostly women. Kids have no model relationships with men." He says this is helping these kids see a godly example in their lives.

Training is essential, says Arslan. "People who want to become Buckner volunteers have to be trained. I teach them how to teach the Bible, to teach God to the kids. That's the first thing. They're also helping materially."

Arslan says as kids come to Christ, their faith keeps them from the social challenges. He says the churches are adopting orphanages and being proactive. "They organize summer camps. Last year was the first time. This summer, in June, July and August we will organize three summer camps."

Kids are coming to Christ. Pray that more churches will get involved.

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