Shoes empower Russian church to reach out

By November 17, 2004

Russia (MNN) — Christians in the United States and Christians in Russia are working together to touch the lives of orphans and their care-givers in Russia. Buckner Orphan Care International’s Shoes for Orphan Souls program is the key.

Olga Vlasenco works in Buckner’s evangelism program. Vlasenco says providing shoes is an important part of this effort. “Children and care-givers can see God’s love because children can wear the shoes and children are very happy. Care-givers are very happy also because they can see a really help.” The help they’re seeing is from Christians reaching out.

Since orphanages are closed for the most-part, church must partner with organizations like Buckner. Vlasenco says, “Many churches can work under Buckner and they go into the orphanages and they can share about God to the kids and they can do many good things for the kids.”

Vlasenco says because the church is trusted more by orphanage staff, outreach is taking place. “People from the church, they can invite all kids to church. And, they can find new friends of the same age from the church.” But, that can only happen as they have shoes.

Buckner is recruiting more churches to get involved in collecting shoes for the orphans so this type of ministry can continue. They’re also looking for volunteers to join a Shoes for Orphan Souls trip.

Tomorrow we’ll tell you what groups are doing to help Buckner’s work.

If you’d like a copy of the professionally produced video of Buckner’s ‘shoes’ trip, go to

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