SGA-Sponsored Orphans Reborn Team in Krasnoyarsk, Russia
We would not choose an orphanage as the place for any child to grow up. Yet for many, life outside of the orphanage brings many more dangers. I am talking about what happens when children “age out” of the orphanage and must begin life on their own.
All of a sudden, they are expected to become independent adults, responsible and mature. But many girls quickly become pregnant. We saw four boys jailed almost the next day after they left the orphanage, and a number who end up homeless. While we sadly lose contact with many of the children, still others keep in touch and come to the church when they have need of food or other assistance. One of the orphan graduates honestly admitted to me that if it wasn’t for Orphans Reborn, he would have long ago been imprisoned or dead from drugs.
Several days ago, I was in a café not far from the church. In front of the entrance, I saw two homeless people who were drinking vodka and eating instant noodles. They were very dirty, drunk, and in their faces I could see that they had been living this way a long time. Then I saw another guy who was much younger and looked much better. I recognized him as being one of the graduates from the orphanages who attended our lessons. He ate with dirty hands from one plate with them, and drank vodka. He was smiling and laughing at the same time. But when he saw me, his face dropped and I could see that he felt ashamed.
His smile disappeared.
I felt pained that such healthy and strong boys choose such a cheap path that leads nowhere. The next day, he came to our group for older orphans like nothing happened the day before. It is impossible to help them in our own strength, but what is . . . impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27). We keep inviting older orphans to events, fellowship, and Bible studies. We rejoice when we see even minor changes and victories in their lives.
In the beginning of the school year, there are usually many new children who come to the orphanages, and we begin our work with them. We hold regular sports events with them to teach them discipline, and each event ends with a Bible lesson. They have serious problems, and many are already heavy smokers—even at 10 years old! They bully each other and mistreat their teachers. They have had no people in their environment to teach them another way of life. Almost every day, I hear, “Uncle Misha, could you find a good family and caring parents for me?” Our hearts are broken before God, and we ask Him for mercy over these orphaned children. We pray for God’s miracle, and that our influence with prayer, will result in their salvation.