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MPPC has been involved in a ministry to children at the Ribnoe Orphanage in Russia for over 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, volunteers 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. Additionally, as part of our strategic partnership with our missions partner, Children's Hopechest, there is a sponsorship program which provides financial support for several programs, including a computer lab, English classes, and vocational training. This includes 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. 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.

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.

There are six of us heading over to Ribnoe this winter, four returning members and two new team members. During our trip to Ribnoe this winter, we will bring crafts, sports, gifts, games, and times of sharing God with the kids and staff through testimonies and skits. The camp program is a source of joy and hope.

Also, we will be spending some time at the Children's Hopechest Ministry Center in Ryazan visiting recent orphan graduates. 

We pray that we will act on God's nudging in sharing HOPE in Him, with the kids, translators, and staff. We expect to laugh, have fun, be tired, and see God's amazing hand in this camp. Thanks for all of our supporters - YOU are part of the team with us.