As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a heavy toll across the former Soviet countries, orphan children are facing some of the most heartbreaking situations.
Pastor Yuri leads one of the SGA-sponsored Orphans Reborn ministries in western Belarus. He wrote to tell us that all the orphanages are closed, and that has direct impacts on the children, especially the “social orphans” who have living parents who are unable to care for them. But by God’s grace, even these situations lead to openings for the love of Christ to be shared . . .
Nikita and Kseniya are brother and sister. They had to be removed from their mother’s home due to her alcoholism. A kind lady named Tamara has received the children into her home. She knew the situation and couldn’t refuse the children. The social workers were very happy and asked Tamara if she would take one more boy named Yura into her family. His mother is in prison for drugs. Our government is not able to help all the orphaned and abandoned children. Three orphan children have been living in Tamara’s home for the past three months. We came to visit Tamara and shared the Gospel with her. She willingly listened with interest and accepted our witness for Christ. Tamara has a lot of worries about the children. She is in need of food for the children, along with clothes and toys. She is also concerned about teaching the children. While we cannot help her with everything, we try to help her and do what is possible to take care of the children. We brought her some food and clothes from our children.
The situation is just as severe in Ukraine, if not worse. Pastor Vladimir Nesteruk reports similar orphanage closures and great need . . .
I want to tell you about our work among orphans during the quarantine. We can’t go to the boarding school now because it is closed, and there is no one there at the present time. The children there are from dysfunctional families. But we visited about 50 of these children at their homes. We had the addresses of their dysfunctional families, and on our arrival we were appalled at the terrible conditions these children are living in now. The children asked us and prayed that they would be taken back to the boarding school as soon as possible because at least they always had food available for them. As to the parents of these children, they are alcoholics and the children are left without any supervision. They are without food, hungry and in unsanitary conditions. We purchased them food, detergents, everything we could. If it is possible to help us with these additional expenses, we would be thankful to receive it!
The reports we are receiving from missionary pastors across the former Soviet Union tell similar stories. The needs are urgent and truly heartbreaking. But thanks to you—our faithful partners—we are able to supply these pastors with the resources they need to reach out to these needy children and their families in the name of Jesus. Pray that God will work in their hearts as their physical needs are met and the Gospel is proclaimed!