Russia (MNN) — Have you heard about Orphans Reborn? If not, you should definitely look into the ministry, which is a part of Slavic Gospel Association’s children’s ministry program.
According to SGA, between Russia and its neighboring countries there are over 700,00 children living in state-run orphanages. This number includes kids who are considered “social orphans”.
“We are thankful for each gift we receive for #SGAOrphansReborn ministries in the CIS.”– Lana Yusov, SGA’s Children’s Ministries Administrator (Photo, caption courtesy of Slavic Gospel Association)
The term “social orphan” means a child does having a living parent; however, the parent is incapable of providing for the child. This means children who are labeled as “social orphans” cannot be adopted.
Orphans Reborn helps provide national churches with the resources to minister to kids living in orphanages and children’s homes. Church members are able to drive out to these kids, bring gifts, and show them Christ’s love in a very real way.
“I was at an orphanage in Murmansk, and in Murmansk there was a young girl who had 13 teddy bears on her bed,” SGA’s Eric Mock shares. “And yet, I discovered after talking to her, many people visited her with many things to comfort her, but no one had shared the Gospel.”
It’s not just the material needs these kids have; it’s also the spiritual and emotional. Without these, especially the Gospel, these kids are often still left empty.
“So we can buy shoes and put clothes on their back, but if we have not connected them to our Father in Heaven, if we have not seen them to hold onto eternal hope in Christ, then we have fallen short of giving them the greatest gift we’ll ever give them.”
More Than Clothes
Churches receiving support from SGA’s Orphans Reborn program go out several times a month to these orphanages to teach Bible lessons, bring special snacks like oranges, and even little gifts for Scripture memory contests. In the process of doing this, church members are also building important relationships with these kids.
“It’s pretty amazing, when people are driving out in sub-zero weather just so the kids know they are not forgotten — even in the coldest of winters,” Mock says. “These believers in these churches are going out and sharing the Gospel with these kids, and these kids are seeing this in a tangible way.”
“This is Eric Mock from Central Asia, and with all my heart I want to thank you for your faithful, sacrificial support of SGA missionaries and children’s ministries. The fruit is unmistakable for the glory of God. Those who had nothing now have everything in Christ. (Photo, caption courtesy of SGA via Facebook)
These frequent trips, even when the weather makes it hard, is also a testimony to God’s faithfulness and His consistency to reach out to these kids with His redemption.
What many people may not realize is now is the time to reach out to these kids. After the age of 18, at least 85 percent of these kids get lost in the system.
A lot of these kids end up in violent crime and come to suffer from alcoholism and drug use. Many girls often end up in prostitution. But, after spending the majority, if not the entirety, of their lives being unloved… it’s a hard cycle to break.
But by coming alongside national churches through SGA’s Orphans Reborn program, the Gospel is entering the lives of orphans and helping end this destructive cycle many orphans are born into.
“We’re equipping churches to do the ministry God has laid on their hearts. We see orphaned children who have been ministered to for more than ten years, graduate from college, stay in these churches, and then turn around and become part of the teams that minster to these children,” Mock recalls.
Will You Help?
Will you come alongside SGA in equipping churches to help change the lives of orphans with the Gospel? If so, here’s how you can help.
Pray for the orphans — for their protection, for the Gospel to enter their lives, and for them to experience Christ’s love firsthand. Many have been abandoned, sometimes dropped off at orphanages by their parents, screaming for their parents to come back only to be crushed when they never do. So please, pray for their healing, too.
Then, consider giving to support SGA’s Orphans Reborn programs. All it takes is $5 a month, less than half of a pizza, to reach a kid through this program. Click here to donate!
*The Orphans Reborn program is up and running not only in Russia, but also Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Belarus, and others.
**Orphans Reborn helps provide gas money, emergency food sources and snacks, and teaching resources for these kids.