Russia (MNN) — Ministry to Russian orphans is not a task to take lightly. They’ve been traumatized and left unwanted. Slavic Gospel Association’s Eric Mock says some kids have even watched as one parent murdered the other.
In Russia, there are anywhere from 500,000-700,000 orphans in state-run orphanages, Mock says. At least 70 percent of these kids are what is called “social orphans”. This means one of the child’s parents is still living, but because of poverty, addiction, or criminal actions, the parent cannot care for the child. The other 30 percent of kids are true orphans, children with no living parents.
But how does someone explain the love of Christ to kids who have faced so much pain in their lives in a tangible, meaningful, truthful way?
“What you have to do when you’re working with the kids is not only tell them about a hope that is unshakeable, not only tell them about the amazing truth, of the amazing grace of God, not only tell them that life on earth is hard, but there is a future hope that is unshakeable [and] actually show it to them,” Mock explains.
These kids have seen people come and go throughout their lives, even their parents. They have felt the destruction which comes with this instability. Some have even felt what it means to be projects, shown off on holidays or special trips but pushed aside when no one is looking.
But, through SGA’s Orphans Reborn program, churches receive funds to visit orphans, provide aid, and teach them about Christ. It’s the consistency that drives Christ’s love home.
Regardless of weather or personal events, these church members continue to pursue a relationship with these kids. Even when it is -30 degrees outside and car floorboards have to be covered with blankets, these people still make the long trip to visit these kids several times a month.
“You’re talking about a 10-15 year investment in a life. This is not a seven-step discipleship plan that you work through and the kids are fine. They’ve seen horrendous things and what you want to do is move a heart that has known only heartbreak, to a heart that knows only the love of Jesus,” Mock says.
These church members essentially live life with these kids tangibly introducing them to the idea of a heavenly Father who loves them and will never forsake them.
Mock shares a story of a young girl, whose life was impacted at age 12 by the faithfulness of a church. Today, she’s one of the church members ministering to orphans just like her younger self.
“As missionaries…by going over to those countries they can really only be a part of their lives temporarily. But a local church can walk this road with them for years and years and years to come. And that’s when we see hearts transformed one stitch at a time, one thread at a time until we see a beautiful tapestry of God’s message and Word worked out on a single human heart,” Mock says.
How to Effectively Get Involved
Currently, SGA can only help churches minister to just under 10,000 orphans. Still, the ministry wants to help partners reach as many as possible.
“How do we know that young child won’t be the next pastor or preacher who transforms a country?” Mock says.
So please, get involved with SGA’s Orphans Reborn ministry by becoming a strategic prayer partner. Pray for the end of broken families and heartbroken children. Ask God to bring peace and healing to Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union. Also, pray for God to heal these children’s hearts and lead them into a relationship with Him. And pray for American churches to focus on helping get the Gospel message out, both in America and in places like the orphanages of Russia.
It takes resources to equip churches to visit children in orphanages. Will you help financially support the Orphan’s Reborn ministry?
To give to Orphans Reborn, click here!
To get involved with the Orphans Reborn work, click here!