Being the Last Link in the "Operation Christmas Child" chain!
Our last big orphanage day took place on Friday, this time at the Saltavka Orphanage. This facility is run by the government, but the local Slavic Christian Ministries (SCM) people have a relationship with the director and staff that allows for an ongoing weekly ministry of sharing love, attention, and above all, the gospel message with the children here. This facilities tends to be used as a transitional place, so most children stay only 2-4 weeks before being moved elsewhere in the system. As Vova, our host pastor, put it, "Your presentation may be the only time some of these children come in contact with the gospel in such a direct way in their entire life."
Donations from our VISION supporters go not only to pay our trip expenses. They also provide gifts directly to the orphans themselves and to the institutions that care for them. We were able to give out personal gift bags to the kids, but also to donate much needed playground and sports equipment, as well as food supplies to the orphanage...all in the name of Jesus Christ, and thanks to the generosity of those of you who helped with this trip!
An exciting and unexpected part of our visit to Saltavka was the opportunity to be the ones to place Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes from Samaritan's Purse into the hands of these orphans. Most or all of the team members come from churches who have participated in this ministry at home, packing the shoe boxes, and to be on the other end of the process and see the kids' eyes light up was a HUGE BLESSING!