SEND International Launches Plans to Start a Drop-in Center for Russian Orphans

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Financial gifts and support are needed to help the evangelical missions organization reach out to orphan graduates as part of its church planting efforts in Russia

SEND Russia

SEND Russia aims to provide support to orphan graduates in Russia

This support will give them a good foundation for facing life's challenges. It will also give them a place to go when they are in trouble, since they do not have family to turn to.

In Tambov, Russia, a group of Christians stands in a circle, holding hands and praying. They are preparing for their weekly visit to a local orphanage where they lead a program for the children. “We do all sorts of things with the kids—crafts and music. We pray with them, we sing Christian songs, we do Bible lessons. And so far, God has been faithful to us and He keeps the doors open,” says Russian team member, Anya. The orphans here are well-cared for but one of their major needs is guidance and help after they graduate.

Typically, Russians graduate from the orphanage when they are around 16 years old and move out to live on their own. This proves to be a difficult transition for them. Statistically, 90% of these graduates will end up in some sort of trouble; homelessness, prostitution, drug addiction, or suicide.

SEND Russia missionaries seek to change this statistic through opening a drop-in center. There orphan graduates can get a hot meal, do homework, use the computers, learn life skills and meet Christians who will love them and share the gospel. Anya says, “We get a chance to just show them how to live, share with them how to spend their money, and help them with their school.”

This support will give them a good foundation for facing life’s challenges. It will also give them a place to go when they are in trouble, since they do not have family to turn to. Matt Hutchcraft, a SEND missionary involved in the project, says “We are looking forward to having a place where we can meet with the kids on a regular basis, teaching them about life and living it to the glory of Christ.”

Through the weekly orphanage visits, the missionaries and church members are able to build relationships with the orphans so that later when they graduate, they will have friends in the community. “You go there and you think, ‘I don’t know if anything will come out of it,’” says Anya. “But then you build those relationships with those kids and they graduate and they already have that friendship with you and they want to talk to you, they want to listen to you, they want to be with you. And that’s simply amazing.”

SEND Russia’s mission is empowering churches in Russia to reach beyond their borders in order to establish reproducing churches. Matt says, “This center is the next step in helping the Russian church reach beyond its borders and truly building relationships with this very special group of kids.”

To launch the ministry, SEND needs to raise $43,000 to rent and furnish a space, as well as pay the operating costs for two years. People interested in supporting this ministry can give online at http://www.send.org/info/13-hope-help-to-orphans/. The project is also included in SEND’s annual Bite-sized Projects brochure, a selection of small, tangible giving projects, which can also be found online at http://www.send.org/give/hope-can-change-everything/.

SEND International is an interdenominational faith mission agency with approximately 600 missionaries in more than 20 areas of Asia, Eurasia, Europe and North America. SEND’s mission is to mobilize God’s people and engage the unreached in order to establish reproducing churches. SEND members are multinational and are recruited and sent from sending offices and partner agencies around the world. For more information on SEND’s mission and ministries, visit http://www.send.org.

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Amy Walters
SEND International
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