Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Students Bring Hope to Those in Despair

    Ukraine (MNN) ― The city of Donetsk, Ukraine is home to more than four million people. It was once one of the crown jewels of the country, under communism.
    During that time, both Donetsk and Kiev were well-maintained to show off communism's success stories to dignitaries. However, after communism fell, so did the city. Many people in Donetsk live well below the poverty line, and unemployment in the region has reached catastrophic levels.
    The economic crisis was compounded by rampant alcohol and drug abuse which made child neglect and abandonment in the region skyrocket. The evidence is everywhere. Grocery store shelves show that alcohol is readily available, and kiosks line the streets, filled with similar wares. The resulting family breakdown accounts for the high number of children in state and private orphanages.
    Russian Ministries School Without Walls (SWW) students want to counter that hopeless message. They're trying to muster their resources in order to open a second rehab center for drug addicts and alcoholics.
    The SWW training equips future leaders for evangelism and church-planting-- the base of Russian Ministries programs and services. It's also the largest network of non-formal schools in the former Soviet Union (FSU), with 1,956 students studying in 65 locations.
    Where the two-year SWW program has finished, local churches have continued instruction. Graduates create ways for the local church to implement more sacrificial forms of ministry. They help organize and run evangelistic camps for children and youth and participate in social projects like special rehabilitation houses.
    Their goal is to see Donetsk restored to its former glory, but this time, with an eternal perspective.

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