In Russia’s Smolensk region, Orphans Reborn ministry still continued despite last year’s quarantine restrictions. While some children remained in the orphanages, others like Roman were back at home with relatives. When the SGA-sponsored team reached out to Roman at his aunt’s home, he recognized the ministry workers. “I remember Christmas plays, which you showed,” he said. For a child who doesn’t usually have personal guests, it warmed Roman’s heart to see someone who came specifically to minister to him.
Orphans Reborn team member Irina O. remembers when a young student named Alexei began attending her church in St. Petersburg, Russia. “We happened to know that he was an orphan,” she remembers, even though Alexei hardly talked about himself. Over six months’ time, Alexei opened up to the pastors and then repented. Today, Alexei is sharing about Christ with his peers and — equipped by ongoing discipleship and training from his church — has started a Bible study group with 14 other students.
For the members of SGA-sponsored Orphans Reborn teams across Russia and her neighboring countries, ministry to broken, forgotten children is a devoted calling. Sometimes it is hard to discern the impact in each young heart, but as team member Natalia Zhukova wrote to tell us, the children’s joy speaks volumes: “Each time we visit, I am concerned about what the reaction of the children will be to our lessons. But when they run to me with shouts, ‘Hooray! The Christians came!’ it gives us all such joy in our hearts!”