“Our team was heartbroken the first time we visited this hospital and saw the despair of children suffering with leukemia and tuberculosis. It was so lifeless and disheartening, with no sounds of laughter. Not even one child was running around or having fun.” A GWI Russia volunteer recalls.
She continues, “We couldn’t just walk away and forget what we had seen, so we got right to work and organized a program especially designed to meet the needs of kids with serious illnesses. Now, we regularly visit two hospitals along with two orphanages where children with mental disabilities live. You should see how all of the kids little eyes begin to shine with joy when we arrive!
Society completely isolates kids like this. We want them to know they are of great value in our eyes, but more importantly in the eyes of God. And to show them that they are not forgotten!
On our visits, we talk about how God created each one of them in a special and tender way. This opens the door to telling them about the Lord Jesus and how great His love is for them, as well as their families! We organize fun games, tell them entertaining stories and even put together recreational activities they can enjoy! But what pleases these kids the most is knowing they can count on us to come back, because we genuinely care for them! We also delight in bringing children from the orphanages with us to camp.”
Speaking of camp, GWI Russia organized 95 camps last year. The majority of kids who came live in very poor and broken families. In this unstable social context, these children have very little opportunity to ever have fun at a camp. It was so exciting to see more than 6,000 kids laughing, playing, eating nutritious food and responding to camp discussions, Bible studies, as well as worship and prayer times.