Ukrainian youth trained to reach kids in poverty

By June 1, 2011

Ukraine (MNN) — In the United States and many other Western cultures, there is a social gradient for wealth. Some have massive amounts of money, some are just decently well off, some live in neighborhoods, and some live in projects. There are a wide range of socioeconomic classes, thanks to the middle class component.

In some nations, though, there is no middle class. There are the haves and the have nots.

Ukraine is one such nation. The villages with little have extremely little. Parents are drug and alcohol abusers, and children scrape for food. This typifies the lifestyles of many poor villagers in the nation.

Eric Mock with Slavic Gospel Association recentlyreturned from Ukraine where he and a team visited devastated families door-to-door.

"One of the things that SGA's doing is partnering with Children's Hunger Fund to supply these local churches with humanitarian aid–predominantly food products–so that they can show the love and compassion of God while opening doors to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ," explains Mock. He and his colleagues were helping with humanitarian aid distribution while in Ukraine.

The food aid program has opened doors for pastors to reach out to families, but perhaps even more significantly, for young believers to reach out to kids in the communities.

Many Ukrainian Christians in their teenage years or early twenties have a passion to reach the kids throughout the areas where they grew up. SGA gratefully trains them to be good witnesses and to better build relationships with the kids.

As youth have gone door-to-door reaching out to children, the results of their relationships have been significant.

"When you have these young teenagers and these young men and women in their early twenties who have a passion for the Gospel, who show these children something more than the world has presented to them thus far, and then tell them of a God who saves and loves and that there's something more than the despair and desperation around them, it is like casting a light."

Mock shared several stories from his own encounters with hope through this program in Ukraine in an interview with Mission Network News. You can listen to the full interview here.

In the meantime, SGA pastors and believers in Ukraine have a few needs. The most significant is prayer. Another is the need for more church planters. Learn more about SGA's work in Ukraine at sga.org or by calling 1-800-BIBLE-50.

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