When the Eastern European Summit on Orphans and the Church, sponsored by the CoMission for Children at Risk, convened mid-March at the Donetsk Christian University in Donetsk, Ukraine, participants were all too familiar with the problem of orphans and street children in their country.
The following figures represent children and teenagers who need the warmth and nurture of compassionate Christians and the national evangelical church.
• At the beginning of this year, 103,000 orphans and children no longer had parental care (this includes children in foster families and family-style orphanages).
• Of the 30,000 children living in state institutions, the majority of them fall between the ages of 7-18 years old.
• Within five years of leaving a state-run orphanage (based on information gathered in Russia), one out of five “orphan graduates” is homeless, one out of two has committed a crime, one in seven orphan grads has attempted or committed suicide, and seven out of ten girls will become involved in prostitution in some form.
• In Russia, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, every year, law enforcement agencies uncover more than 100,000 instances of some form of parental neglect. Tragically, as a result of neglect and abuse, each year, for the past five years, 55,000 minors have run away from home or orphanages.
National churches, ministries and Christian families are responding with care and compassion to these sad statistics—and the actual children and teenagers they represent. A national evangelical adoption and foster care movement has gained momentum as Jesus’ followers obey the biblical mandate to care for the fatherless.
Meanwhile, young Next Generation Christians enrolled in School Without Walls are equipped for practical ministry, which moves them beyond their studies and into orphanages and other places of need in order to reach a new generation for Christ.
This time of year, churches, School Without Walls students and other young Next Generation Christian leaders are intentional in reaching out to orphans in their communities, especially through Russian Ministries’ evangelistic summer camps.
One week of summer camp can transform a young life forever. You can help make a difference in the life of an orphan! To make a secure online gift to this life-changing ministry, click here and designate evangelistic summer camps.
One child + one week of summer camp = one changed life.