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Mission Match ®

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Projects done in Russia by congregations that received Mission Match® funds

August 2007

Congregation in Texas supports orphanages in Russia   (click to open/close)

A United Methodist church in Texas sent a team to Siberia to support several orphanages. According to the congregation's Mission Match application materials, the church stated they learned that the orphanage staff had limited material facilities for the children so "bones are set without x-rays, teeth are pulled without painkillers, and needed surgeries go undone. Our priorities are bringing the Gospel to the children and providing needed medical help." The Mission Match application from the church indicated that the team "will distribute money to pay for medical care, clothes, and food for the children and to pay for minor repairs to the orphanages. They will also do Vacation Bible School." A mission team report received from the congregation prior to the trip said, "We will be the hands and feet for the work but you, the givers, will be the heart that carries God's love to these needy children." A follow-up report to Mission Match from a team member stated, "We made it back safe and intact, except for each of us leaving a piece of our hearts. All churches in Russia need our prayers if they are to continue serving and worshipping our Lord." According to this follow-up report, "In one church the team visited there were fourteen orphans who are members of the church. They are on their own, but four of them do not have beds. They take doors off the hinges to sleep on because that is warmer than the floors. The team had some money left so we left enough for beds. We couldn't stand the idea of young people sleeping like that." Another comment from the Texas team members stated, "At one orphanage we purchased toys, arranged for a clothing and shoe fund, and put money into their medical fund. One little girl, Anna, is unable to walk without holding on to someone. We are going to purchase a walker that will grow with her. Anna is a social orphan, meaning she has parents but they are addicted to drugs and alcohol and were not taking care of her. There are so many stories similar to Anna's there." Further comments stated that, "Another orphanage also tugged at our heartstrings. The team was not allowed to stay over night at this orphanage because the facilities were so bad. We thought we could handle anything, but the bathrooms were so terrible and the Russians did not want us to endure them. The kids there are all mentally challenged. I have never walked into a crowd of kids and felt the presence of Christ more than I did there. A young girl ran up and threw her arms around me. She looked up, our eyes met, and there was such a pleading in her eyes. I felt as if she was calling out to the world to love her." The report continued, "As the team talked, we all felt this special connection with these kids. We arranged to purchase a freezer and other kitchen equipment. We set up funds for clothing, Bibles, crosses, sports equipment, toys and books. We left money for a medical fund. To anyone who says the trip is too far away, costs too much money, or might even be too dangerous, our answer is to stand in the team's shoes and look into the eyes in which we looked."