Although most SGA-sponsored Immanuel’s Child outreaches across the former Soviet Union don’t take place until Christmas season, prayers and preparations begin almost as soon as the previous season’s events have concluded. In late spring and early summer, we begin making calls to churches here in North America who participated the previous year. Late in the summer, we begin sending participation kits and Bethlehem Stars to participating churches, who then take up offerings and sign the Stars. Many other SGA partners also send gifts to help reach as many children as possible. The Stars are returned with the offerings to SGA to be sent to churches across Russia and her neighboring countries, where gifts are purchased for distribution to children during their Immanuel’s Child Christmas programs.
And every year, God works as only He can in countless young hearts, and we get to report the fruit back to you—our faithful partners.
Here are just a few that we received from last Christmas . . .
We had Immanuel’s Child along with Bible school over four days this past January. We had about 40 children every day. We provided the children with breakfast and lunches, and distributed Christmas gifts. The children didn’t want to go home at the end—they were very happy as we were to see their joyful faces. Please pray for all the children who attended, asking the Lord to keep working in their hearts. We will keep contact with them all and build relationships, and our Sunday school teachers are working on future programs with them. May God bless you!
—Pastor Sergei, Belarus
In Voronezh, we had a physically challenged boy named Saveliy, who after receiving a gift and a Star, couldn’t believe for some time that good people from another country would personally sign his Star and send him a gift. He is 12 years old and said to us, “Now I believe in miracles!” In Omsk, the ministry is unique with Oleg having access to prisons and correctional schools, cancer treatment centers, and other institutions. He reports, “After the services, parents and children prayed with us, repented of their sins, and expressed their desire to live a God-pleasing life. In the cancer center, there was a special atmosphere where both parents and children prayed with us, with tears. God touched people’s hearts!
—Southern Russia and Siberia
In Russia’s Nazarovka region, SGA-sponsored missionary pastor Alexander Churilov had 53 children attending his Immanuel’s Child outreaches, and 42 of them were from unbelieving families. Eight children trusted in Christ along with 2 adults, and nine families began coming to church after the outreach! Some had to be done in home visits due to the pandemic. One young boy named Artem wrote to express his thanks . . .
Our last day of school wasn’t a fun day at all as we didn’t have Christmas parties at school like we had before. But when we were told that believers would come to our home for Christmas with a Christmas program, I got very excited. My sister and I were presented with Children’s Bibles and Christmas stories, Stars from children in North America, and gifts. The pastor presented our parents with New Testaments and a book of Christian poems. Thanks to all the church people who helped us have a very joyful home celebration!
This year, our goal is to reach 50,000 children with the Gospel and the blessing of a special Christmas gift in Jesus’ name. Please pray with us in advance for a bountiful spiritual harvest through this year’s Immanuel’s Child!