Russia (MNN) — When the partner churches of Slavic Gospel Association give gifts to kids in Russia, it’s not the gift the kids care about most; it’s a paper star.
Each paper star of Bethlehem says, “JESUS LOVES YOU” in the local language. The star’s other side has the handwritten name of a family or individual along with the city they live in, who has committed to praying for that child for the year. (Learn more about Immanuel’s Child HERE.)
Outreach Communicates Christ’s Love
SGA’s Vice President of Ministry Operations Eric Mock says when the kids realize there is someone on the other side of the world thinking about them, they often line up, waiting for someone to translate the name and city of the person praying for them.
“I’ve been in outreaches where the kids sat all of their gifts aside. They set their Bible aside, although some clutched the Bible, and they want to know who is the family, what is the name of the family that is hand-written on that card. They cannot believe that there’s a person on the other side of the world praying for them and thinking about them,” Mock says.
These simple stars have a profound impact on entire families. Not only do these kids recognize they are known by someone in a far-off land, but that God fully knows them, too.
“I will come back and visit some of these locations a year later. You’ll see little kids with the star taped to the inside of their Bible. Kids who had never been to church before who are now deeply involved in the church and in Sunday school,” Mock says.
“In some cases, their parents have come. We’ve seen parents that have these Immanuel’s Child starts even dangling from the rearview mirror in their car because they’re thinking about…believers on the other side of the world [who] care for them.”
Give a Star of Bethlehem
Signing and sending an Immanuel’s Child paper star of Bethlehem costs $25. This donation amount covers the costs of a Bible, a gift, Sunday school materials, and the costs of shipping the paper star. (Other materials are typically bought in-country to support the local communities and provide culturally relevant gifts.)
“We’re talking about the Gospel going out to unreached children and their parents. There couldn’t be anything more exciting than seeing people come to faith. In heaven, the angels are rejoicing, and what a great opportunity that people come, that have never heard of [the] one true God before, much less Jesus Christ, are hearing a message of hope,” Mock says.
Want to participate in Immanuel’s Child?
Call 800-BIBLE-50 or CLICK HERE to give to Immanuel’s Child.
Mock says SGA also appreciates your prayers for Immanuel’s Child. Pray for all the church’s requests for Immanuel’s Child resources are met. Ask God to use these paper stars to show kids and their families His deep love for them and to lead them to His truth.
Pray for organic opportunities for SGA partner churches to openly proclaim the Gospel. Mock also asks for prayers for doors to remain open for these churches to continue their Gospel work. Finally, pray for parents and kids to attend Immanuel’s Outreach events and for open hearts, too.
*Only donations for Immanuel’s Child given through the first week of December are guaranteed to be used for this year’s Immanuel’s Child. Funds that do not arrive in time are typically used for the following year’s Christmas outreach. This is due to delayed shipping schedules from the holidays combined with international shipping logistics.
Header photo courtesy of Slavic Gospel Association.