Daughter sends Christmas gifts to former orphanage

USA (MNN) — Today there are 700,000 children in the orphanage system in the Russia today. Many of them have been taken from abusive families, abandoned by parents, or are truly orphaned. The older they are, the less likely they are to be adopted–even more so now that Russia has banned all adoptions from the United States.

That, in part, is why one young lady is raising money to send Christmas gifts to Russia.

Anastasia Yoder at 3 1/3 and today.

Anastasia Yoder at 3 1/3 and today.

14-year-old Anastasia Yoder, daughter of the Executive Director and Anchor of Mission Network News, was adopted from Irkutsk, Russia in 2002. Last year Russian Ministries started a Project Hope ministry in the city of her birth.

Project Hope is a program that sends a Christmas box to children in Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union. $25 provides the funding needed to purchase a toy, candy, personal care items, and more importantly: God’s Word. These items are purchased by a partnering church in Russia and distributed by them during Christmas.

Why is she doing this? “I just wanted to give back to my people,” says Anastasia who spent the first 3 1/2 years of her life in Russia. “I just want to share some hope with the kids there. Many of them have no hope. I also want them to know that people do care about them.”

Pastor Sergey Aleev (Baptist Bible Church of Irkutsk, Russia) distributes gifts during Gift of Hope distribution last year.

Pastor Sergey Aleev (Baptist Bible Church of Irkutsk, Russia) distributes Project Hope gifts last year.

Russia celebrates Christmas on January 7, so there’s still time to help Anastasia reach as many children as possible. “My personal goal is to send Christmas gifts to all of the kids in my former orphanage,” she says. That’s about 150 children.

She’s close to reaching her goal. If you’d like to help, click here to give safely and securely. When you give, enter “Anastasia” in the memo line.

Baptist Bible Church of Irkutsk hopes to distribute 1,000 Christmas gifts to orphans in the region.

Christians will be handing out the gifts, as well as presenting the Christmas message and the Gospel. Give as generously as you can to help them.

What about the kids who can’t read yet? Anastasia says, “Obviously they’re not given Bibles. They get a Scripture songs CD so kids can learn songs about Jesus.”

Altogether, Russian Ministries hopes to distribute 80,000 Christmas gifts to Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and other parts of the former Soviet Union

We’ll have follow-up reports as we receive them from the field.