Russia’s population falling, number of orphans growing, Christians reach out

By June 30, 2006

Russia (MNN) — Russia is facing what President Vladamir Putin calls the most acute problem facing his country today. It’s a demographic crisis — a rapid decline in population. The country’s losing 700,000 people a year and the population could be half of the 145 million by the turn of the century if something isn’t done.

While the population is declining, the orphan problem is getting worse. Hundreds of thousands of children are in under funded orphanages and receiving poor care.

Buckner Orphan Care International and Mission Network News is doing something about that. Together their hosting a ‘Shoes for Orphan Souls’ trip to the Leningrad Region of Russia.

Buckner’s Amy Norton heads up the program. “This is an area right outside of Saint Petersburg. It’s a huge, huge region of Russia that has over 36 orphanages in it. But, many of these children have never had an American team come see them. They don’t know anything about the Lord and have never had a mission team in.”

The trip is scheduled for September 28 through October 8. Buckner and MNN are teaming up to recruit to team that could have a profound impact in these children as they, “Deliver shoes, share the Gospel with them and let them know that they are loved. And, I’m just excited to have the opportunity to do this trip with you all because we so urgently need to have people go and minister with these children who have never had anyone come in,” says Norton.

Since Mission Network News is celebrating its 15th anniversary, MNN and Buckner are partnering together to give this trip away to an Mission Network News listener. “We’ll begin taking name on July 1 and continue to do so until July 17. Then, we’ll draw a name and announce the winner on July 18.” The winner will be traveling with Executive Director Greg Yoder and other MNN listeners to Russia for a wonderful time of ministry.

Norton says participants will be working with the local church, but it will be hands on ministry, but not only to the kids. “Many of the lives of the caregivers are changed just by seeing these American teams come in and put shoes on the kids feet. They’re overwhelmed at the thought that people would raise their own support to come and come minister to them.”

While we’re looking for contestants for the trip give-away, volunteers are also needed for the trip. Your hands on help is needed and you can sign up the trip at our website, and your name will automatically be entered into the drawing for the contest. For those who can’t afford the trip, sign up for the give-away at

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