I'll Read Them All
On January 9th we drove 3 hours from Moscow to the little traditional church in the village of Vyshnyj Volotchok. After meeting the pastor, and discussing setup for the Bible Mission portion of the program, we set off for home visits with Svetlana. She is one of the dear women from the church who works tirelessly to minister to and form relationships with the families in need.
At the first house, we met the mother and grandmother of 4 children in our child sponsorship program. We had a special gift of food and supplies for them. The mother struggles with alcoholism and little family barely survive on a low income, crowded into a house with no running water. As well as poor health, which is often a big concern in the colder months, their situation is hard. Sveta has been working to share the Gospel and demonstrate God’s love as she seeks to meet them in their need. When we mentioned the Christmas boxes, one of the little boys disappeared into another room and came back with the Christmas box he had received last year. He had built and saved it on display in their home for an entire year!
Next, we visited a single mother raising her 8 remaining children by herself, in another old Soviet-era concrete apartment. Her first husband had died, leaving her widowed. Through the years she entertained relations with several men, none of which married her. Last year she found herself pregnant and was told by a doctor that her baby would be born handicapped and that it would be wise to abort. Scared and unsure what to do, she remembered Sveta who had reached out to her from the church. With her advice on the abortion she decided against aborting and together they prayed for health and safe delivery. While making our home visit, we were introduced to the beautiful and perfectly healthy baby girl.
Our last visit before returning to the church was to the home of another single mother and her three children. We gave them supplies and bundled them into our cars for a ride to the church. While we drove we asked about their situation and the mother responded very openly about her hard work raising her family and making ends meet on only $27 a month.
Once back at the church, we slipped in during the first part of the program that Vika and her husband* (the youth leaders) had prepared. The children joined in the songs and games before Ilya and Victor presented the Christmas story leading up to each child receiving their very own box and Bible.
In the flurry of excitement, one little boy named Andrew stopped to show Gerhard the contents of his box and listened eagerly as Gerhard sat with him and read a story from the children’s Bible. Andrew said he had never heard a Bible story, but that he would go home and read them all.
*Please be praying for Vika’s husband, after arriving home, we heard that he had a snowboarding accident that fractured his spine. There is no spinal cord damage, but he is still in recovery, and they would greatly appreciate your prayers.