Those of our partners who signed up for SGA’s daily Christ Over COVID prayer email updates have been able to see many of the wonderful reports coming in from across Russia and her neighboring countries. As faithful SGA-sponsored missionary pastors reach out to needy families with much needed food, medicine, and hygiene items, doors are being opened for Gospel witness as Christ’s love is demonstrated in action. Here are just a couple out of the many we have received:
These two children lost their mother and their father raises them alone. They were really glad to get food because the father does not have a regular income. Serezha is 10, he came to our church’s Aid Center on a regular basis in order to play games and attend our clubs. When he had no money to pay the bus fare, he walked and even winter cold did not stop him! I often would take him home, because he would not want to go home early and would stay at the Center till late. When he saw me, he ran to me and gave me a bear hug! He misses his mother a lot. I left him a book about Jesus Christ, praying that maybe his 14-year-old sister Nastya will read it to him, and through that would herself grow closer to God. Please pray for this family!
We met with a young woman named Masha for the first time in a playground near our house. Her two daughters have cerebral palsy. I was concerned about this family, but did not know where they lived, and rarely saw them outdoors. One day I saw Masha passing by with a stroller. I told her about our church participating in Compassion Ministry and Christ over COVID, and offered to bring her a food package if she needed it. At first, she asked about the kind of church it was and that she was not a Protestant. She finally said that she needed help, as they lived without the father of the children and had to pay her mortgage. Oh, what a God-given opportunity! I said that the food is provided in light of Jesus’ words to do to others what you would have done to you. I told her that the help was given for the glory of God, and that when a believer brought in His name, they tried to bring the best. Then I saw tears sparkle in Masha’s eyes.
The very next day when I entered their apartment with food, Lisa (the daughter who can walk) happily ran to the parcel and said she was waiting for a surprise. I took out the sweets and judging by the kids’ eyes and exclamations, I could see they were not disappointed! Masha thanked us and said that she believes in God, she just does not go to a church. And then I heard more of her story. It turned out that her children were born out of wedlock. When the father heard about Masha’s pregnancy, he immediately left her and denied the children were his. Masha refused to even consider an abortion, and said that she would raise her children alone. She worked hard to earn money for maternity leave. However, her pregnancy was difficult and ended with a premature birth, with her babies being kept in intensive care for a long time. Masha prayed to God for the children to survive. And they did!
Please pray for Masha and her children as we continue to share the love and Gospel of Christ. And pray for faithful church workers as they distribute aid and share the Gospel with these needy families!