ABKHAZIA – SOAR International Ministries is holding special camps for handicapped kids in Abkhazia. Raise your hand if you know where Abkhazia is? Anyone? Anyone?
Okay. Let’s try this. Raise your hand if you have ever even heard of Abkhazia. Anyone? Anyone?
Abkhazia is a small, independent state on the eastern shore of the Black Sea south of the city of Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The 3,340 square mile republic is home to about 400,000 people, only 300 of whom are evangelical Christians.
SOAR International Ministries operates a camp in Abkhazia to minister specifically to handicapped children and their caretakers. According to Richard Page from SOAR, 30 percent of children in Abkhazia are born with some kind of physical disability.
Abkhazia is predominantly an agrarian economy and families are poor. Handicapped children are generally isolated from the active world around them, so they especially enjoy the opportunity to interact with others at the annual camps.
The aim of the camp is clear – to share the love of Christ and the Gospel message with the kids. SOAR holds the camps at the invitation of the local evangelical churches, so their fundamental message is clear.
The camp is held at a residential-style retreat center when volunteer counselors work alongside each child throughout the entire day’s adventures and activities. Separate programs are held for the kids’ regular caretaker.
While ministering the Gospel is their primary objective, SOAR provides clothing and other essential resources to make life easier for the kids and their families. SOAR has partnered with Joni and Friends to provide suitable wheelchairs for kids, many of whom, heretofore, had to be carried from place to place. Prior to 2016, there were no wheelchairs in the entire country.
But, more than blankets or wheelchairs, SOAR understands that the children need Jesus. The message is being received. Richard Page says, “Over the past few years, a number of kids have started coming to the church have accepted Christ.”
Page asks fellow believers to “pray that the kids’ (and caretakers’) hearts would be opened and that they would hear (and receive) the Gospel message.”
Please join us in praying for these children, their caretakers, and this ministry. To the world at large, these children are insignificant and live in a place that is insignificant, but to Jesus, no one could be more significant. He gave His life to save their souls.
To read more posts on the needs of handicapped children on Missions Box, go here.
- Mission Network News, Abkhazia Bible camp brings hope to handicapped children
- Abkhaz World, Republic of Abkhazia (Apsny)
- SOAR International Ministries, Abkhazia
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