The Orphanage in Smolensk
We spent two days in Smolensk where we were blessed to experience a tiny bit of the faithful orphanage ministry of several Baptist churches with whom The Outreach Foundation has been in partnership. In a nearby village of 5,000, an orphanage houses about 70 kids who have learning disabilities. Every week, a team from the churches shows up to do Bible study and just love on the kids. Because our visit coincided with the graduation of 9th graders, the church planned a picnic day complete with grilled hotdogs and games. It was clear, in the way the kids gravitate to these adult mentors, that relationship building had been a prime focus, going hand in hand in demonstrating to them THEIR worth and Christ's love. In the first photo you see part of the ministry team (left to right): Ivan, Nadya and pastor Victor. For most of these children, apart from the caring orphanage staff, these church members are likely the only adults who have shown them loving attention in their young lives...Christ showed up at that picnic through the incarnational presence of those Christians from Smolensk as He does each and every week through their ministry. And I am pretty sure He enjoyed a hotdog!