Russia (MNN) — Post Soviet Russia has a young generation growing
up amid serious social and economic problems and a declining population.
Thousands of kids each year are placed in orphanages or
abandoned to the streets to make their own way. More than 700,000 live in one
of the government-operated orphanages. It's been estimated that another 2.5
million are homeless, living on the streets.
Many are victimized by organized crime, prostitution, or the
pornography industry. Often the kids come from homes broken by alcoholism and
domestic violence. Suicide rates are high among Russia's youth. Drinking and
drug use are on the rise and so are the crime rates typically associated with
Without a moral compass to guide them into adulthood, Russia's future looks
grim. However, the story isn't all
bad. According to Slavic Gospel
Association, the youth are searching for and are receptive to truth. When they see the testimony of someone truly
living with Christ and for Christ, they embrace the hope found in a loving God
with passion and commitment.
SGA supports the work of church partners in Russia as they
reach out to the homeless and orphaned youth. The Good News Church in the city
of Ufa meets in the basement of the police station.
The church body is made up of kids who are desperate to
survive. Many steal, rob and use drugs. They are feared by many, but they respond to the
simplicity of love. Victor and Natasha
Slobodyan back up their words with deeds. Five times a week, they feed the kids along with telling them about God.
It's not an easy task, and yet the Slobodyans faithfully
minister to kids on the street and coordinate a summer camp. They are on the front lines of a spiritual
battle and are asking for prayer support as they share the hope of Christ.