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Russia

July 18th - August 1st, 2009

MPPC has been involved in a ministry to children at the Ribnoe Orphanage in Russia for 15 years. The Ribnoe orphanage is located approximately three hours south of Moscow, and houses about 130 children. The orphans in Ribnoe are ages 3 to 18, and about 90% of them are social orphans, wards of the state. They have been taken from parents who are criminals, drug addicts, or who have been neglecting/abusing their children.

Throughout the years, short-term missionairies from our congregation have held summer and winter camps at the orphanage where we can interact with the kids, bringing lots of fun and hugs and the message of Christ. There are ten of us heading over to Ribnoe this summer, four returning members and six new team members. We will be working in partnership with Children's Hopechest, MPPC's missions partner in Russia. During our trip to Ribnoe this summer, we will bring crafts, sports, gifts, games, and times of sharing God with the kids and staff. The camp program is a source of joy and hope. The theme for our camp is "Digging for Treasure", with the discovery being that the greatest treasure is God's love!

Additionally, our church has been key in providing financial support for several programs, including a computer lab, English classes, and vocational training.&nb sp; Since MPPC partnered with Children's Hopechest in 2006, we have been able to fund a year-round ministry to the children at the Ribnoe Orphanage through a sponsorship program. Russian disciplers visit the orphanage on a regular basis to teach Biblical lessons to the children. In addition, they now have a lifeskills program in place that helps kids prepare for life outside the orphanage. Lifeskills programs are critical because Russian orphans are sent back into society at age 18, and some as early as 16, with little support.

Through the help of MPPC and Children's Hopechest, many orphan graduates are finding a better future. Recent graduates have obtained chef's training, access to officer training school in the Russian army, and acceptance to a local university in English classes. These are major accomplishments for any Russian student and dramatically more so for orphans who are generally treated as lower class citizens in Russia. They typically only have access to training that will prepare them for at best, menial jobs. Many orphans become involved in crime or prostitution; 10% commit suicide.

We ask for your prayers for our missions team for problem-free travels, good health and that the Lord would work through us to reveal himself to those children and staff at Ribnoe that do not yet know him.