Ukraine (MNN) — Christmas in January?
Yes! That’s when Slavic countries like Ukraine celebrate Christmas.
During January 5-12, Ukrainians observe the Christmas season, with Christmas Day landing on January 7.
A mission team with Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) recently returned from a 9-day Christmas outreach to orphans in Ukraine.
Eric Mock with SGA says, “We had an opportunity to reach out to a small boy’s home — a boy’s orphanage. In this orphanage were 48 young boys. 70% of these boys came from problem families. In other words, these boys were brought there because their families were involved in criminal activities.”
The team ministered to these kids through SGA’s outreach initiative, Immanuel’s Child, providing Christmas gifts to Slavic orphans.
Mock explains, “Immanuel’s Child is a Christmas program that Slavic Gospel Association has, that is providing an opportunity for churches in America to be a part of the Christmas outreach of churches in Ukraine, Russia, and those countries of the former Soviet Union. [They are also] a part of helping to equip these [Ukrainian] churches for ongoing discipleship and making a commitment to pray for each child that receives these gifts.”
Team members handed out Christmas gifts to boys in the orphanage, giving each one a kid’s Bible, treats, a Bethlehem star ornament, and a wrapped gift.
Boys at the orphanage valued the love given by the team. “These boys were, in short, homesick. They desired to be with their parents. Some even prayed that their parents would stop drinking, that they would stop fighting each other,” Mock shares.
Along with Christmas gifts, the SGA mission team joined the local Ukrainian church in putting on a Christmas program for the boys. They sang songs, and the orphans got a chance to hear the clear message of the Gospel as the true meaning of Christmas.
Ultimately, the team was there to boost the local Ukrainian church’s ministry. “It’s the local church who faithfully comes out every few weeks and visits this orphanage. That local church is who’s responsible for building those relationships, showing that love, sharing the Gospel, discipling these kids.”
Thousands of kids in Slavic nations are reached every year through SGA’s Immanuel’s Child outreach. Pray for these kids to come to know Christ as their Savior through it.