Archive for the ‘Children’ Category
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
How your support changed lives this summer!
At 98 different Russian Ministries evangelistic camps across the former Soviet Union this summer — in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Central Asia — children gathered from broken homes, orphanages, and situations of abuse and misery. And where the Communist regime once indoctrinated boys and girls in the worship of state and duty, your support helped 8,554 children and youth discover freedom and love in Christ!
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it,” the Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 (ESV).
Summer camps are our most effective strategic mission tool reaching out to children and youth in the countries of the former Soviet Union, from the poverty of inner-city Moldova to the war-torn towns of Chechnya. Most of the children who attend come from non-Christian homes. Many are from a Muslim background, or Buddhist, or atheist.
But at camp, they have the opportunity to discover God’s love, learn from His Word, and grow in their faith under the caring guidance of young Next Generation Christian leaders. An estimated 20% of our campers make the decision to trust in Jesus at camp, while the rest are sown with the seed of the gospel! These boys, girls, and teens will someday become Next Generation leaders themselves, so it’s important to give them a strong foundation now.
For the young men and women leading each camp, this is also a crucial time to put into practice the ministry lessons learned during their School Without Walls (SWW) classes. This hands-on immersion in children’s outreach helps build their confidence in sharing their faith, and launch them into a future of service to God, their churches, and their communities.
The “least of these”
For example, in Poltava, Ukraine, Russian Ministries teamed up with Samaritan’s Purse to create a summer camp for 55 children living with HIV and special needs. Most Ukrainians know little about HIV, despite the fact that the country has one of the fastest growth rates of HIV/AIDS in the world, so these children live under a daily cloud of fear and stigma. But at camp, they were surrounded by God’s love as they did crafts, sang Bible songs, and learned about Jesus. For once, they felt wanted and accepted—a wonderful witness to them and to their families.
Putting faith into practice
Kabardino-Balkaria, in the Northern Caucasus, is often in the news — as a breeding-ground for suicide bombers and a hotbed of Al-Qaeda indoctrination of young boys. But at the Russian Ministries summer camp, your generosity brought the Prince of Peace and a message of hope for the future.
Oksana, a SWW student who helped lead the camp in Kabardino-Balkaria, reports that, “I was greatly helped by knowledge gained through SWW, which I graduated from this year. I called to mind what our teachers had taught us about children’s ministry, which really helped me. We became close friends with the children during the camp. There were three children from a needy family who were on their guard at first, like animals. But during camp they were transformed into thankful listeners. They were grateful for every piece of candy and every kind word. By the end of the camp they were completely ours, and parted with us with great sadness. You could tell that they didn’t want the camp to end.”
These stories, and hundreds more, show how the lives of both campers and leaders were transformed by Russian Ministries evangelistic summer camps. And it doesn’t stop there! Our bold young Next Generation Christian leaders will use the foundation of camp as a bridge to build strong relationships with the campers and their families.
We know from experience that many of these boys, girls, and teens will come to church for Sunday School and other programs, and soon, they’ll be bringing their families along. In this way, the simple seed planted at summer camp can reach whole communities! Thank you for giving so many children this time to explore God’s love for them and learn to trust Him for the rest of their lives.
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Donate online NOW, and start making a difference in a child’s life today.
Your support of these summer camps will bring hope to orphans like Inna.
Inna would have wound up another orphan statistic that plagues Ukraine and Russia, but as a young teen, she was invited by School Without Walls students from Rovno, Ukraine, to one of the evangelistic summer camps they organized and led.
When Inna’s father died almost ten years ago, her mother was left with five children to raise on her own. And it proved to be too much.
“My mother started to drink,” recalls Inna of her early childhood days. Eventually, Inna’s mother sent her two older brothers to an orphanage, and at the tender age of seven, Inna didn’t begin school, but began to care for her two younger sisters.
One dreadful day, Inna watched her mother walk out and lock the apartment door behind her, leaving behind three little girls, ages seven, five and three, all alone and with only frozen potatoes and cabbage to eat.
When local authorities discovered this gross neglect, the three sisters were quickly removed from the apartment and placed in separate orphanages, where Inna has lived for the past nine years.
It was at one of Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps that Inna discovered hope. “For the first time, I began to feel peaceful and calm,” says Inna.
God is using School Without Walls students and other young Christian leaders to reach out to helpless children and teenagers like Inna, and a new generation is discovering hope in Christ.
“There is joy in my heart in spite of everything that has happened in my life. I feel God’s love for me. I hope to attend many more camps like this one,” Inna states happily.
A donation to our evangelistic summer camp ministry will help School Without Walls students reach at least 5,000 needy children and teenagers at evangelistic summer camps in Russia and Ukraine, and especially significant, in the ever-turbulent Northern Caucasus, including North and South Ossetia, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
Each $50 gift will help send one camper to a life-changing week of camp and help provide a Bible and/or Christian literature for that child or teenager.
- $100 will help send two campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature for them.
- $200 will help send four campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature.
- $300 will help send six campers to camp and provide Bibles and Christian literature.
Perhaps God is prompting you to help send eight or even ten campers to one of these evangelistic summer camps, so they can hear about God’s love for the first time, and discover new life and hope in Him
Peter Wooding, Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service, reports on our Summer of Hope campaign for our evangelistic summer camps.
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
As January ended, so did the final days of our Project Hope Christmas outreach and gift distribution.
From the end of December through the entire month of January, our School Without Walls students and other young Christian leaders and local national churches have traveled to “the ends of the earth” in Russia’s Far North, to a hospital in children’s Chernobyl hospital in western Ukraine, to the Northern Caucasus that make headlines these days for terrorism.
As of today, 45,000 Christmas gifts have been distributed to orphans and needy children in their families. Each gift also had Christian literature or a children’s New Testament in it, making these gifts true gifts of hope.
In St. Petersburg, Russia, for the past few years, young Christian leaders have been visiting a state mental institution every Christmas. Sadly, many of the residents were sent to this institution when they “graduated” from orphanages at age 16 and had nowhere to go and no one who would care for them.
Thankfully, compassionate young Next Generation Christians in St. Petersburg feel honored to go to this institution and share the good news of a baby born in poverty, born a king.
“We love visiting,” explains one young Christian leader. “The patients love hearing about Christ and singing. And when we talk about how much God love them, they hug each other! We believe that God has a special relationship with them.”
Friday, January 7th, 2011
Merry Russian Christmas! Today, all across the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, young and old alike are celebrating Christmas.
For Russian Ministries’ national workers, School Without Walls coordinators and students in 66 locations in the former Soviet Union, Christmas presents unique opportunities for them to be involved in Project Hope, Russian Ministries’ Christmas outreach for children.
Thanks to all who generously gave to Project Hope. Your gifts support teams of young people who are reaching out to children at-risk, orphans and poor families in their communities. While others travel to rugged and remote villages in Arctic Siberia and to towns in the turbulent Northern Caucasus region of Russia, including Chechnya and South Ossetia, but all bring the gift of hope and share the story of the greatest gift of all, Jesus, on behalf of the global Christian community.
Again, we are so grateful to all of you who supported Project Hope. In the next few weeks, we will be posting pictures and reports from our young, national leaders about their Christmas outreach events this month.
Meanwhile, watch this video by CBN senior reporter, George Thomas. Thomas is traveling with Pavel Tokarchouk from our Moscow office and getting an up-close look at Project Hope events in action.
Again, Merry Russian Chrismas!
Friday, December 31st, 2010
There’s still time for you to make an end-of-the-year gift that will help and encourage our young, national Christian leaders today as they bring hope to vulnerable children on Russian Christmas, which is celebrate on January 7.
Your donation to Russian Ministries will also help us invest in young Next Generation Christians in Central Asia and Russia’s Northern Caucasus—regions that are the most closed to the gospel—in reaching out and building bridges to the Muslim community.
A gift today, the last day of 2010, will also encourage the 2,375 students to press on in their strategic training at School Without Walls in 65 locations. As these students are equipped and motivated for ministry, they will be prepared to move out and transform their communities, their nations for Christ.
Please prayerfully consider making a year-end investment in the lives of these young Christian leaders today. You may make an online gift up to 11:59 p.m. today for 2010.
Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
When you give a gift of $50 or more to Project Hope in November and December, we will send you a special Christmas print (see right). This is a little girl from one of the semi-nomadic reindeer tribes in Russia’s Far North-and she is holding her Christmas gift from Project Hope!
Anastasia Taran, a young national Christian artist, did the original painting for Russian Ministries this Christmas. Although Anastasia struggles with life in a wheelchair, she uses her artistic talent to God’s glory. “The Lord blesses my life and my hands, and gives strength to do much with little!” declares Anastasia.
This Christmas, Anastasia will join other young Next Generation Christian leaders from Zaporozhye, Ukraine, as they bring gifts of hope and joy to at-risk children.
You can help Anastasia and other young Next Generation Christian leaders all across the former Soviet Union bring Christmas hope to
- orphans in Russia’s Far North, home to the least reached Khanty and Nentsy people groups-semi-nomadic reindeer herders and hunters.
- children in Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, and some cynically say that the country’s major export is its young women caught in the snare of human trafficking.
- children who are refugees and homeless in the Northern Caucasus-a tragic outcome of the violence and wars that plague this region.
- the four million children who are residents of Russia’s Orphan Nation.
Help us give away 50,000 gifts of hope, gifts of compassion through Project Hope, our Christmas outreach. Each gift includes a children’s Bible and/or Christian literature, making this a true gift of hope as children discover the good news of Jesus’ birth.
Make an online gift to Project Hope and your gift can start bringing hope today.
Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps and sports day camps were havens of peace and hope in the Northern Caucasus region that was rocked with violence this summer.
Altogether, 1,300 children were involved in summer camp programs in Ingushetia, North Ossetia, South Ossetia and even Grozny, Chechnya, where terrorist attacked the parliment building this week.
School Without Walls students and graduates from Vladikavkaz put their training in cross-cultural studies and Muslim ministries to practice this summer as they encountered, and with God’s help, overcame ethnic tensions and cultural barriers at Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps and special sports events.
Two camps—one in June and one in August—for refugee children living in Vladikakaz were bookends for the Northern Caucasus summer evangelistic camp ministry.
“Over the course of [the summer] we saw changes in every child,” reports Gennady Terkun, ministry director for the Northern Caucasus region. “The changes were not always big, but they were significant in the eyes of God, and the camp staff who invested so much love into the children.”
At the beginning of one of the refugee camps, Katya was an easy target for her fellow campers’ teasing. And when they weren’t teasing her, the children excluded her—a burden for a young girl whose father was dead, and whose mother was disabled.
As the week went on and the children discovered God’s Word and got to know Jesus better, the negative atmosphere changed. The School Without Walls students at the camp saw this as a step forward in not only building personal relationships but also in building bridges across ethnic divides in this region.
The summer camp in South Ossetia started out with a visit from local law enforcement officials who came to “investigate” the camp. But all the investigation turned up was caring young Christian leaders, who wanted to share Jesus’ love with their campers.
Nine-year-old Zira lives with her grandmother in Tskhinvali, South Ossetia. “My mom ran away to Tbilisi, Georgia, and lives there with my brother,” Zira says almost matter-of-factly. “No one wanted to be friends with me because my mom is Georgian.” That was the case until Zira was invited to the summer camp in
a village in South Ossetia.
“At camp, I learned that Jesus loves everyone,” exclaims Zira, “and I became friends with Diana and
Zhorik from Vladikavkaz. I have a lot of friends who also love Jesus!”
It was a difficult summer for the evangelistic camp in Grozny, Chechnya. Demands from local Chechen authorities and security issues prevented the team from Vladikavkaz from even traveling to Chechnya, but Next Generation Christians from Grozny stepped up to run the the evangelistic summer camp. Even
though some parents reacted negatively to the Bible lessons,
Yuri, a missionary and young Christan leader from Grozny, and another Christian leader whose daughters were students at the first School Without Walls program in Grozny, gave away 60 children’s Bibles and some New Testaments in the Chechen language. We are thankful that Yuri holds a lot of events for children and adults throughout the year.
• Continue to pray for the School Without Walls students from Vladikavkaz, other young Next
Generation Christian leaders and volunteers from local churches who gave their time, talent and
treasure to these summer camps.
• Pray especially for Project Hope, Russian Ministries’ Christmas outreach and gift distribution,
as young Christian leaders bring hope and peace to this violent region.
• Pray for Gennady T. as he oversees ministry in the Northern Caucasus region. Pray that Christians will be peacemakers as they share Jesus’ love across cultural and ethnic lines.
Monday, September 27th, 2010
In the Midst of Violence: Gospel Peace
In Russia’s Northern Caucasus, where car bombs explode in busy marketplaces and a pastor is gunned down outside of his church, peace can seem a long way off.
It is precisely in the middle of this violence and terrorism that God is raising up a Next Generation of peacemakers, who is bringing gospel peace and hope to this region.
This summer, young Christian leaders from the School Without Walls program in Karbardino-Balkaria traveled to Mahachkala, the capital city of Dagestan, to help the evangelical church with its first-ever evangelistic summer camp.
Residents of this primarily Muslim city watched church members and the School Without Walls students carefully, and asked a lot of questions about who they were and what they were doing. And the community not only heard but also saw Jesus’ love in action as children in the community happily participated in a week of summer camp.
A Place of Hope
With no father, and an alcoholic mother who is constantly in and out of prison, Zina (pictured) and her older brothers live with their grandmother. Though elderly and poor, this grandmother refuses to place her grandchildren in an orphanage. Zina’s brothers earn money here and there, but well-paying jobs are scarce in their area.
Providentially, a Christian family from the church in Mahachkala lives next door to Zina. Though hardly wealthy themselves, the parents help Zina and her family. This young girl basks in the family’s kindness, and spends a lot of time with them. This summer, the family invited Zina to camp.
A bit shy at first, wide-eyed Zina took everything in. Once settled, Zina threw herself into all of the camp activities, including the teaching times. But the best was yet to come.
The School Without Walls students and young Christian leaders from the church had designed the Bible teaching to cover basic biblical truths throughout the week, and at the end of camp, would give campers the opportunity to follow Jesus.
Zina didn’t need to hear the invitation to follow Jesus a second time. All week long, she had seen the gospel in action through her counselors and camp staff. She understood the gospel and Christ’s sacrifice for her. Perhaps the only people more excited and happy than Zina were the camp leaders.
As camp came to a close, Zina took as much Christian literature as she could for her brothers, hoping that they, too, would come to know Christ.
Russian Ministries praises God for Zina and all of the children she represents who chose to follow Christ this summer at its evangelistic summer camps. In all, 7,630 children and teenagers heard the good news of Jesus at the 107 evangelistic summer camps that were held throughout Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova this summer.
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Children all across the former Soviet Union returned to school this fall, but in some villages in Moldova, young children didn’t begin kindergarten, because local authorities couldn’t afford to keep the schools maintained.
In Ukraine and Russia, poverty leaves behind its young, vulnerable victims in broken homes, on the streets or in orphanages. Many people in these two great nations barely eke out a living and struggle to survive.
And too many children often don’t have enough to meet even their daily needs.
This summer in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Ministries’ School Without Walls students and young Christian leaders befriended over 7,000 orphans, street kids, refugees and needy children at our evangelistic summer camps. But these summer camps are just the starting point in building relationships with these needy children and their families throughout the year.
With the fall harvest time approaching in the former Soviet Union, these bright, creative School Without Walls students, on behalf of their local churches, will invite campers to Bread of Life follow-up projects that will take place during October and through Thanksgiving.
School Without Walls students and other young Next Generation Christian leaders are set to mobilize their churches to fill breadbaskets with a week’s supply of, yes, daily bread, the daily needs for one child. These baskets will overflow with bread, food and even multi-vitamins to help provide physical nourishment.
This was Jesus’ model for practical ministry. He fed the crowds, and then told them about their greater need for Him. That’s why these special breadbaskets will also overflow with Christian literature and Bibles.
These School Without Walls students know that the breadbaskets will open doors to needy families and at-risk children. And as doors open, hearts open to receive Jesus, the Bread of Life. Each basket that is filled and delivered not only reaches an individual child but also his or her family and friends as they all share in the Bread of Life.
You can have a part in our Bread of Life project this fall, and help provide needy children with daily bread and the opportunity to hear about the Bread of Life.
Consider this: the average grocery bill for a family of four in the U.S. is $900 a month-that’s $225 a week or approximately $32 a day this average family spends on groceries.
Imagine how many needy children in Russia and Ukraine could be helped if Christians simply gave the equivalent of their grocery bills for a week or two weeks or even a month to our Bread of Life project.
Even the daily average cost of $32 would more than fill a basket with a week’s supply of daily needs and Christian literature for one child; $64 would fill two baskets for two children; $96 would give three children life-changing baskets; and $128 would help four children.
Through the Bread of Life project at harvest time and Project Hope that soon will follow as we near the Christmas season, School Without Walls students are reaching out to needy children in their own communities, sharing with them the hope and joy of Jesus, and transforming nations one child at a time.
Give the equivalent of your grocery bill today to the Bread of Life Project.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
U.K. media consultant Peter Wooding interviewed Russian Ministries’ President Anita Deyneka about the late summer evangelistic summer camps that are running in the former Soviet Union. Many of these evangelistic summer camps are reaching children in difficult places such as Dagestan and Ingushetia.
As School Without Walls students and other young Next Generation Christian leaders are busy running summer camps in more than hundred locations, help is urgently needed to complete their goal of reaching more than 5,000 needy children across the former Soviet Union.
“We’re looking for partners who would want to be part of this marvelous movement to help children who still face so many problems the turmoil in their countries and from the legacy of communism,” said Russian Ministries President Anita Deyneka.
Already a month into the evangelistic summer camp program, Deyneka says help is urgently needed to reach the goal of impacting over 5,000 kids: “It has been magnificent so far,” explains Deyneka, ” with children coming to camp and responding to the counselors and staff, but what is challenging is having enough funds. With another month of summer camps to go, we need at least $75,000 to finish the summer strong. It costs just $50 per child to attend one week of camp—and every one of those dollars is an investment into a changed life.”
There are so many children who come to camp from tragic backgrounds, children with alcoholic parents, street kids, orphans, children with disabilities, tuberculosis and HIV. One of the toughest places where Russian Ministries is running camps right now is in Chechnya where all the children have known in their lives is war.
Deyneka says the impact on these vulnerable young lives goes far beyond summer camp: “That is one of the best aspects of the camps. It’s not just that one week, but our national co-workers, who lead the camps, keep a connection with the children. The camps build a bridge into a future of ongoing relationship with the children and their families and communities. The children want to keep in touch, and so doors oepn. The campers often return to their non-churched families and talk about camp and what they learned, and in some cases, parents have come to know the Lord and come to church.
“The community also sees these young Christians who care about the children and care enough to organize the camps. This leads to all sorts of wonderful paths for the future not only for the children but also the communities. The camps are a great blessing in themselves but the ripples afterward are just amazing in the ongoing impact in the lives of the children.”
With more than ten years of Russian Ministries’ summer camp ministry, many of those that were children from the beginning, now come back each year camp counselors, and then become involved School Without Walls as students at Russian Ministries’ non-formal training program that provides Christian discipleship and leadership.
But help is desperately needed now to ensure this legacy continues. To find out how you can help send a child to camp, click here www.russian-ministries.org and click on the donate now tab.