Ukraine (MNN) — Ministry opportunities are being constricted in Ukraine. Slavic Gospel Association has heard reports that Ukrainian churches, church outreaches, and the advancement of the Gospel are coming under increasing pressure in the country. But Slavic Gospel Association’s Easter outreach Orphans Reborn is just around the corner. And it is important that this work can continue.
Orphans Reborn Easter Outreach
Through Orphans Reborn, SGA helps local churches reach out to 10,000 kids every year in the former Soviet Union.
Easter in the former Soviet Union takes place in the third week in April. This year it lands on April 28.
But the Easter ministry is built upon the work of the Christmas outreach, Immanuel’s Child. During this outreach, churches hold events to celebrate the birth of Christ while also making the Gospel available in their communities, along with the story of Jesus’ birth.
Plus, during the Christmas celebrations, people invited to the outreaches provided their contact info to the churches. Local churches use this info to circle back and reconnect with the kids and families through the Easter outreach. While in the West, Christmas steals the show, Easter is traditionally a bigger deal in the former Soviet Union.
As far as outreach goes, SGA supported churches plan events for the week of Easter, starting on Palms Sunday and leading up to Easter Sunday. Through these events, which are similar to the Christmas outreach, churches help attendees understand what the death and resurrection of Christ mean, and why it was necessary.
“Rather than just seeing it as a time of gathering, even for exchanging chocolate and Easter egg hunts, [churches] see this as a tremendous opportunity to reach people with the life-saving Gospel. They know that the tradition is there and they’ll have access to people, and this is a great opportunity. There’s no other greater time either than to reach out to orphan children,” Mock says.
During Easter, Orphans Reborn teams visit children in orphanages up to four times a month. Sometimes, teams have to drive as far as six hours to an orphanage to build relationships with the kids and provide aid. Still, there is a gaping hole between the kids who are reached and those who are not.
“It’s an opportunity to reach even more, and regretfully 10,000 orphan children is just a drop in the bucket…There is still 600,000-700,000 [in the former Soviet Union], depending on which survey you go to, 600,000-700,000 orphan children in state-run orphanages and probably double that living in at-risk homes, in poverty on the streets. So many kids to reach and so many possibilities,” Eric Mock with SGA explains.
During Easter, doors open similarly to Christmas. The tradition of celebrating Easter is ingrained in the culture. This tradition provides opportunities to connect with people who typically have nothing to do with the Church. For many orphans, their lives are void of hope. But through these opportunities, Bible teaching churches supported by SGA are making the hope of the story of Christ known.
“Eighty-four percent of them will not get adopted, and eighty-four percent of them are left often without a future and a hope. We’ve got to get the message of the Gospel to them. So, the Orphans Reborn program provides the tools to local Bible teaching churches to take the Gospel to these dear children,” Mock says.
Partner With Orphans Reborn
Will you help Orphans Reborn share Christ in Ukraine and the rest of the former Soviet Union?
“These particular activities, along with building relationships with these orphan children throughout the years, are integral to the orphans reborn program. Supporting the Orphans Reborn program supports a local Bible teaching church that commits every month to be going out and visiting these orphanages, even when it’s 40 and 50 below zero, even when it’s hot with mosquitoes in the middle of the summer,” Mock says.
SGA provides these churches with resources to reach orphans to visit the orphanages such as fuel, teaching materials, and emergency and humanitarian aid. Costs of supporting the ministry averages at $5.00 USD a month per child. Would you help provide the resources for a child to be reached with the Gospel?
To support or learn more about Orphans Reborn, click here.
Many Prayers, Much Power
“It’s just an amazing program to be a part of. And now we actually see orphan children who have been ministered to under this program now being part of the teams that minister to younger orphans,” Mock shares.
“The Orphans Reborn program, to be honest, its why I left my career, to be a part of this Orphans Reborn program, to be a part of reaching these dear ones that the world has mostly forgotten.”
Pray the Gospel will reach these kids this Easter. Ask God to open doors for ministry to continue in Ukraine, particularly Easter outreach. Pray for an increasing number of churches to rise up with a desire to reach hurting children and to invest in these kids. Ask God to keep doors open in Ukraine so kids and adults may learn the true story about Jesus Christ. And finally, pray for open hearts to the Gospel in Ukraine and the rest of the former Soviet Union.
Header photo courtesy of Slavic Gospel Association.