Russia (MNN) — Christmas in much of the world falls on December 25. However, in Slavic areas of the world like Russia, Christmas is January 7. This year, Russian Ministries would like you to help make Christmas extra special for children in Russia.
Vice President for Russian Ministries Sergey Rakhuba says many children in Russia have incredible needs. "According to official national statistics in Russia, there are about 750,000 orphans who live in those so-called orphanages. At the same time, unofficially, people say that there are two to three million street kids who wander on the streets of large cities."
While Russian Ministries is training next generation church leaders, they're also reaching out to those who are the most needy. Previously, they reached out to children through a shoe box gift box program. However, that program now has been blocked by the government.
But that's not stopping Russian Ministries. Rakhuba says they've started a program called the Greatest Gift Exchange – Project of Hope. "This Christmas we want to provide resources, and national churches will pack their own boxes. We will add a children's Bible, and 30,000 children will receive those gifts with Christian love."
Rakhuba says Russian Ministries-trained next generation church leaders will also use these gifts to start a relationship with street kids. He's praying that those relationship will develop to a point where they begin asking questions about Christ.
The great thing is, you're invited to be a part of it. "We will be able to deliver Christmas gifts over Russian Christmas to those who live in the streets in Moscow, also arctic Siberia," says Rakhuba. "Those children have never dreamed that someone would come that far to bring them a wonderful gift, to bring them a Bible, and to tell them a story about Jesus."
Rakhuba's prayer in simple. "I hope that this Gift Exchange project would be a great project of eternal hope, that through this gift we can open the door to eternity to many, many children in Russia."
Mission Network News' Greg Yoder and Russian Ministries' Sergey Rakhuba will be traveling together to Siberia this year, and you're invited to join them. Openings are limited. Cost and other information is available at http://www.Russian-Ministries.org.