Russian Orphans

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless..." Jas 1:27a

Do you believe that the Holy Spirit of God Almighty is indwelling your body? Because, if you do, you'll understand this page. And if you don't have this Spirit, reading this page might confuse you. 

The fruit of Christ. If there is One called Jesus living within you, you care about what He cares about --it's not something you have to force, or some sort of humanitarian emotion you labor to dredge up within your soul. It is a burden that is gifted to our souls by One who bore --and continues to bear-- the weight of the world. This burden is crushing in its magnitude...and yet, we are called to share it with the Great Intercessor. 

Wait, let me rephrase. The word "called" has this flavor of unpleasant duty, or obligation, about it. Let me rather use the word, "invited". We are invited to share this burden with the Lover of souls. He won't force us; He would never force us into the gift of sharing His heart, any more than He will force us into the gift of Salvation. But...if you wish to catch a glimpse into a piece of the burden that is weighing upon the heart of our Beloved today...keep reading. You don't have to. But He might use it to change your life. He might ask you to live for something a bigger than yourself. He might ask you to share His heart, and His tears, for the hurting and the abandoned. And it isn't easy. But it is His heart. Why else are we alive? 

We have been *adopted* into the the Family of Christ Jesus and His Father. As the innocent, purchased children of God, we look up at His face, to see what He is looking at. If He is weeping over a lost soul, so are we. If He is righteously angry with the crime of sex trafficking, so are we. If He is reaching out His hands to the fatherless...why aren't we?

 In Russia, orphans with any sort of disabilities are placed into one of three categories: debil, imbecile, or idiot. Those children who are labeled as imbecile or idiot are permanently institutionalized while still toddlers.

There are over 1 million children living in institutions in Russia today. (Many believe this number to be closer to 2 million.) An addition of approximately 1.5 – 2 million are living on the streets.

Survival statistics for orphans once they leave the orphanages are appalling. Russian Officials in the department of Education for St Petersburg claim that only around 10 – 20% of orphans will "survive" a few years after leaving the orphanage (often at age fifteen). In their world, "survival" means not becoming a drug addict, a prostitute, a homeless person, or being imprisoned. 

 The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Russia is exploding. AIDS in Russia is growing faster than in any other country in the world.

Around 15,000 orphans "graduate" from orphanages every year. Within a few years of graduation, of the 15,000 graduates, 30% will be unemployed, 35% will be homeless, 20% will have criminal records, and 10% will commit suicide. 

"If not us, who will be like Jesus to the least of these? If not us, tell me...who will be?" ~Audio Adrenaline 

'Depraved Indifference' by Eric Ludy

Photo credits: Kate Brooks
Statistics and other facts were borrowed from here

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