The Importance of Cooperation with the Local Church
For many years we have dreamed and worked hard on building cooperation between YouthReach International and local churches. In some cases, this has been missing, and in other cases, this has been challenging since each church or union has their own set of traditions and rules. In Krasnoarmeisk, we have a young mentoring community. Finding a mentor for every child within reach has been a challenge. In order to meet this challenge, we are building relationships with local churches there and providing training and seminars in order for the community to grow and develop.
This year God has blessed us very much and we have seen a dream come true. 16 orphans from a Krasnoarmeisk (Pokrovsk) orphanage called “Father’s House” went to summer camp together with a volunteer team of 4 mentors from a local church of Christ. The 4 volunteers from this church led a great program with Bible stories, crafts, games and in addition, provided the children special time with their mentors. This camp provided a good time and place for encouragement and for children to open their hearts toward God.
Below is something that Oksana, one of the children, shared with me that really touches my heart and encourages us all to help:
“I like the kind of care and love that I saw between Misha and Julia. I want the same for my future family. I liked the words and behavior I saw in how they treat each other. I will seek to love my husband like Julia loves her husband. I want such relationships and the love of Christ now in my family. It is a good example, which I would love to follow in my life.”
Our goal and mission is to raise up, equip and mobilize local mentors, leaders, volunteers and resources for the purpose of serving orphans. We do this by creating a local mentoring communities in local churches. We are looking for mentors, who are members of local churches and live near the children that they mentor so that they will be available anytime and may be a friend to orphans. Camp—it is a short period of time, for everyone. But mentoring needs to continue throughout the whole year. That is why the local church is the key element and instrument in God’s hands, who serves orphans constantly and builds long lasting relationships.
We are planning to have our first winter camp in 2017 with the same local church of Christ. We believe that God will bless our next summer camp 2018. We invite YOU (yes, you!) to join our local team of mentors at camp with through a mission team, maybe even from your church. We believe that through a winter camp God will allow us to serve a greater number of orphans; to build stronger relationships with local churches, organizations, and volunteers; and to activate and mobilize local resources for constant work with children and their needs. Please feel free to contact me personally to let me know about your desire to help (firstname.lastname@example.org) and reach one more orphan heart for our Heavenly Father. You can also send YouthReach International a message here.