Russia (MNN) — Russian Ministries Project Hope is gearing up to reach 50,000 children this winter with Christmas presents and the gift of a Savior.
For years, Russian Ministries has sent thousands of boxes filled with toys, candy and clothes to the forgotten children of Russia and the former Soviet Union. Each box has always contained a colorful Russian Bible as well, bringing not only the joy of Christmas but the hope of Christ to each child recipient.
Unfortunately, the Russian government has become stricter over the past few years and will no longer allow Christmas boxes to be shipped into the country. This means that Russian Ministries is no longer able to work directly with the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child project, although Samaritan’s Purse is still helping Russian Ministries as they can.
Despite these setbacks, Project Hope has adjusted to the change and will hopefully provide even more boxes now than before. "Funds provide more boxes in the case of Russia, former Soviet Union, than when they’re sent in because of all of the other expenses that are included," says Russian Ministries President Anita Deyneka. "[Funds will] maximize the number of boxes of hope that can be given and children that can be reached."
With this in mind, Russian Ministries is asking churches to partner with them to send money for boxes. $25 will provide one child with a box and a Bible. Russian churches will then have the opportunity to pack and distribute the boxes, as well as share the Gospel and build relationships with the children.
“We’re hoping to build bridges of hope between Western churches and Christians and Russians churches and Christians,” says Deyneka.
Although sending money can seem a little less personal than packing a box, packing the boxes from within the country provides the Christians there with a platform to share the Gospel and even helps to stimulate the economy by having the contents of the boxes purchased in Russia. At the very least, it provides an opportunity for Western and Russian churches to form special relationships.
Many children have come to faith in Christ through Project Hope, and Russian Ministries expects the number will only increase as children come in contact with believers who have gifts to give and Good News to tell.
“It may not seem as tangible or concrete as actually packing the box, but it really will mean hope and gifts in hundreds, thousands of little hands who often are so forgotten at this time of the year in that country.”
It costs $25 for one box and $20 for ten Bibles. If you or your church would like to partner with Russian Ministries to provide children with the Hope and love of their Savior this year, click here.