“It is exciting to see the children’s lives positively affected”

Positively Affecting Children's Lives | Overseas CouncilIn response to Russian societal challenges such as substance abuse, street children and orphans, St. Petersburg Christian University (SPCU) students and graduates have been on the forefront of social ministry through university projects, conferences and training.

Social projects include hosting youth events and multi-day children’s camps, remodeling a rehabilitation center, street evangelism and handing out Bible studies to children. One group will travel to Yakutsk to organize an eight-day service/worship camp for teenagers.

Other students have compiled an outreach plan including a 10-day Christian camp, fellowship conference for new believers and church youth and a unity trip to Mount Pidan. In addition, some students will partner with Tajikistan Christian organizations to provide a youth summer camp, complete with bible lessons, activities and fellowship. Tajikistan believers comprise less than .01% of the population.

Nearby churches are taking notice and have asked the students/graduates to host similar activities and trips. Student Nikita Rezyukov says, “It is exciting to be able to use what I am learning and to see the children’s lives positively affected.”

Update: Russian youth ministry projects successfully completed, many were reached

Update: Russian youth ministry projects completed successfully, many were reached

In the June 2008 eNewsletter, OC shared how partner school St. Petersburg Christian University (SPCU) in Russia was on the forefront of social ministry, specifically their efforts with youth and children. Here is an update on their recent youth events and children’s camps.

One group of SPCU students planned to travel to Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia in eastern Russia, to organize an eight-day service/worship camp for teenagers. Because of unsafe conditions in the building where the team wanted to make their camp, it was cancelled. However, they held several evening youth gatherings in Mohsogolloh, a nearby city. Activities included a cinema-café, paper party, panel game, “black-and-white cinema” and a picnic. The team particularly prayed for a young group of men to attend the gatherings, and their “leader,” a local criminal named Vitaliy, “attended every evening meeting and was the most active among others.”

This group also arranged a church-based children’s camp in Mohsogolloh with 10-17 children attending daily. Each camp day had its own name, including “The day of full combat readiness,” “The main enemy” and “The winner.” Activities included worship, interesting assignments, games and Bible lessons. The team says they are thankful to God for this trip and pray that all the youth and children were touched by what they saw and heard.

Another team of SPCU students traveled to Tajikistan to partner with Christian organizations there and provide short-term youth camps, complete with bible lessons, activities and fellowship. Tajikistan believers comprise less than .01% of the population. More than 150 children and youth attended the camp and learned about Jesus. The team received many thanks for their assistance in providing the Christian camps and for training Sunday school teachers while there. SPCU has now reached a tentative agreement on the organization of distance learning programs for leaders of Tajikistan churches and Christian organizations.