From the Street to the Prison… Into the Waiting Arms of the Lord
In St. Petersburg, the faithful Orphans Reborn workers you help sponsor make weekly visits to a juvenile detention center, where the children range from age 12 to their mid-teens. Most are social orphans* who have gotten caught up in a variety of crimes. Their lives are truly heartbreaking, but your prayers, faithful giving and the diligent, loving labors of Orphans Reborn workers are making an eternal difference in these young, broken lives . . .
Here is what Elena tells us . . .
Kolya received Christ some time ago, and he attends nearly all of the lessons. Recently, he came to class a little upset. He is only 16 and must go to school when he is released, but there are no believers at his school. What if he wants to have fun? Will he be able to resist temptation? How was he to find other believers? We could see that the enemy is sowing seeds of doubts in him. The Lord granted us wisdom and we answered all of Kolya’s earnest questions. The Lord strengthened and affirmed him, and he left the lesson very happy. We believe that the Lord will continue to lead him further since He sees Kolya’s struggles and efforts and is drawing young Kolya to Himself.
Reaching Prison Teachers and Muslim Boys
In addition to the children, the ministry is having an impact on the prison staff. Caregiver Galina is now reading her Bible while working in another department. And recently, another caregiver named Elena came to the lesson for the first time, and God began His sovereign work again. The two caregivers try to get as many boys as possible to the lessons—even some Muslim children!
They listen very attentively and participate in the discussions. One of the Muslim children has attended several times and began reading the New Testament. He believes that Jesus is the Son of God (and Muslims teach that God has no Son!).
One day after class, Valery (a caregiver and instructor) stopped us. He is seldom open to discussions. This time he admitted that God alone could help these children, keep them from crime, and change their hearts. We prayed for him and are very grateful to the Lord, since we see that the Lord is changing his heart.
During our conversation with Valery, one of the boys was present— 12-year-old Vlad. He always stays behind to talk to us after classes. We were discussing the New Testament and how to read and understand it. Vlad had a lot of questions. Valery listened, so we included him in the discussion. Valery pointed to Vlad and said that before Vlad started visiting with us, he was uncontrollable. Now he was a totally different boy. He behaves and is obedient. Vlad then stepped a distance away from us without further comment. Our team member Ludmila told Valery that Vlad had a very strong masculine personality, and that he should become a Christian. Before Ludmila could continue, Vlad spoke up from across the room and firmly declared, “I am already on that path!” Valery looked at him and smiled. We prayed for both of them in our hearts. Valery and Vlad are really trying to get closer to God!
The St. Petersburg team sends their love, greetings and thanks to all SGA partners who are helping to make their ministry possible. Please continue to pray for these children who are being discipled in the Lord. May they indeed come to know the One who is a truefriend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
*A social orphan usually has been taken from unfit parents.