Russia (MNN) — In Russia, 100,000 people die every year because of drug abuse. HIV/AIDS infections are increasing. Many young people are hopeless. Unfortunately, there isn't much hope either because active Christianity is weak.
President of One Hope Rob Hoskins just returned from Russia. "Although termed a 'Christian country' because of its Orthodox history, it's still an unreached country. 70 percent of Russians consider themselves Christians, but only seven percent of them pray or have some kind of active faith."
Hoskins says drug abuse and HIV/AIDS aren't the only issues facing young people in Russia. "50,000 Russian children run away from home every year. Usually it's because of abuse and domestic violence. We're talking about a desperate situation there. And the church is in a desperate situation. Evangelicals in many parts of the country are considered a foreign cult, and so there's persecution of the church."
Hoskins says, "The only answer is to plant healthy churches across the country," in the unreached parts of Russia.
OneHope is partnering with Pastor Edward Grabovenko, who's already planted some 600 churches in Russia. "They have just embarked on a vision to reach these unreached parts of Russia where the most desperate situations are, and they have a vision to plant 1,600 churches."
Pastor Grabovenko plans to reach out to 15,000 people every year. And OneHope is committing to resource their work, say Hoskins. "To provide Gospel portions: the Book of Hope for the children and young people, to show The Godman film to children and young people, and to bring them the hope of Jesus in the midst of their pain and their suffering and abuse."
In order to do this, Hoskins says, "They're mobilizing young people to go out in teams of 24 in buses and to travel across the country. Their vision and plan is to reach 2 million young people across the country this next year."
It costs just 33-cents to place a Book of Hope in the hands of Russian young people. That means your $100 gift will reach 300 children with the Gospel.
According to Hoskins, young people feel left out of the "new prosperity" they see on TV and what's happening around them. Since they're not finding belonging in their family or faith, they start looking elsewhere.
That provides Christians an opportunity. "When a group of vibrant young people come along and say, 'Join our community,' they're super receptive to this. So this is an incredible hour and opportunity for the church in Russia today. But we don't know how long of a window we have open. So we need to move quickly, and we need to move now."
OneHope desperately needs your help today. They've had many opportunities to reach out, but fewer dollars coming in. Your generous gift today, will help dozens of young people not only in Russia, but around the globe, to be able to see and hear the Gospel.