As you’ll see from this issue of the Good News Report, this past Christmas was a very special one for the SGA team. Several of us were able to travel over to Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, where we participated in wonderful Immanuel’s Child outreaches.
For me, it was especially a blessed time as my wife Erin was able to accompany me on a ministry trip to the CIS for the first time. We visited vibrant children’s ministries in Grodno, Belarus, as well as in Kiev, Ukraine—and capped it all off by a quick tour of the Chernobyl “dead zone” that remains dangerously radioactive 31 years after the horrific nuclear plant explosion.
Because I had been directly involved in launching the Immanuel’s Child outreach in my previous tenure with SGA, I was thrilled to visit today and see what God has done through this fruitful ministry. In most cases, while the needy children who were part of the church family were certainly blessed, a large percentage of the kids there were from unbelieving families. It was a tremendous evangelistic outreach!
At the orphanages we visited, the impact was just as profound. The Christmas ministry was not looked at as just another nice celebration where children received gifts and then went home. Instead, it was in the context of an ongoing, loving relationship that had been established between the children and the Orphans Reborn team—a relationship that involved regular discipleship and evangelism. And this went beyond the children to include the orphanage staff, who were incredibly blessed and encouraged.
Erin’s heart was touched throughout the whole journey, but in particular during a stop we made in Ukraine. It was for an Immanuel’s Child outreach held—remarkably—at a public school. Here is what Erin said, in her own words:
“One little boy’s eyes say so much about the love he has that fills his heart from our visit and the gifts that were distributed. His face is in my heart forever. I felt such joy to see all of their faces in person, and to tell them that they are not forgotten and remembered always in our hearts and prayers.
“Later, it was fitting somehow that our journey ended with a visit to the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev, Ukraine. While it is filled with sad images, there is one display that is impactful on a much different note. The photos on the ground are a memorial those who did not survive the disaster. However, the tree, cradle, fabric, and apples are symbolic of new life and hope. That is the purpose of SGA’s ministry—to bring faith and hope to those of the former Soviet Union, and to all those who feel forgotten.”
Thank you for your faithful prayers and generous support of Immanuel’s Child, Orphans Reborn, and all the other SGA ministries across the CIS. You are truly having an impact for eternity in thousands of lives.
God sovereignly ordains events and uses men in high positions—often unwittingly to them—to set things in place for the advance of the Gospel.
Immanuel’s Child brings together churches in North America with churches in the former CIS with the goal of seeing many come to saving faith.
Your donation will help change lives in former Soviet Union countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.