Mission Network News and Russian Ministries are teaming up to hand out gifts during Russian Christmas (which is January 7). MNN’s Anchor and Executive Director Greg Yoder, VP for Radio at Cornerstone University Lee Geysbeek and Greg’s Dad, Terry Yoder traveled to Russia on January 3 to participate in handing out Christmas gifts to poor, orphaned and street kids in Moscow and the Yemal Region of Russia. The team arrived on January 4 in Moscow. Instead of going right to bed after being up 27 hours, we decided to stay up and get used to the eight hour time difference. That took us to Red Square to see the sites and sounds of that historic place.
On January 5, we joined up with Nathan and headed south to the Tula region of Russia, just 150 km away from Moscow where Russian Ministries is sponsoring a Winter Camp for orphans and street kids. This is being run by Christians in the region. They invited 20 orphans from this orphanage, 20 from another and 20 street kids to this 10 camp. The goal of the camp is to spend time with these neglected kids, show them love and compassion and win the opportunity to tell them about Christ. It’s a ministry that’s not very accepted by the local church because of the stigma that comes with orphans and street kids. Pictured here is Pastor Paul who started the ministry. This is the second winter camp they’ve hosted.
This is Nastia. She’s been working part time with the outreach for about a year, while she attends university in Moscow. She has an incredible love for these kids who are often forgotten. She says it’s a challenge because the kids don’t respond right way. They don’t understand they need God. They also don’t understand God loves them since most of them have been abused and neglected by adults and not loved by society. Nastia, in many cases, is the first person to show these young people respect and love.
It was great to see these kids enjoying their time at the camp. They received gifts, played games, learned drama with Scripture as their script, participated in martial arts, ate well, learned how to play the guitar, cross country skied and much more. It’s uncertain if this ministry will have any spiritual impact on these kids, but one thing is for certain — they were off the streets for 10 days and experienced love first hand.
Some of the team also got involved. Lee Geysbeek played Twister with the kids and didn’t ‘squash’ either kid shown here. Continue to pray for our safety. We traveled back to Moscow and today will be flying northeast to Salakhard in the arctic circle to do more of the same.