GIVING CODE: ACM1735
THE NEED: $7,000.00
About the project
Field: Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union) Location: Ukraine and Russia OUR WORK: We minister to people with special needs, showing them the love, compassion, and care of our Lord Jesus Christ through His Church. Through NCM programs, the Church of the Nazarene ministers to children and adults with special needs and parents of children with special needs. We provide care for children and adults with special needs, spiritual support for parents, and basic provisions for families in need.
THE NEED: During the Soviet reign in what is now the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), people with physical or mental disabilities were hidden away in government-run facilities in order to create the illusion that Soviet families were perfect. Children and adults with special needs did not interact with the regular community, but they were instead taken outside of city limits where few people would come into contact with them. Within the government facilities, they lived in poor conditions and were often neglected by the staff. They were not treated like people worthy of love, but more like animals. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, CIS countries were often unequipped to know how to make children and adults with disabilities as part of their communities. The Church of the Nazarene is trying to step in to model compassionate care of community members with special needs.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: For $25 you can provide necessary vitamins and medication for someone with special needs. For $50 you can provide cushions for a person who walks with the assistance of crutches. For $50 you can provide Pedialyte for children with special needs. For $50 you can provide food for an individual with special needs. For $100 you can help provide a wheelchair for someone unable to walk on his or her own.
SUCCESS STORIES: Ludmila and her son, Andrew, live in Russia. She shares this story: During obligatory military service, my son, Andrew, was in an operation in the Chechen Republic for almost 10 months. During that time I was visiting the Orthodox Church and asking the Lord to keep my son safe. God heard my prayers, and my son came back home safe and alive. In the spring of 2001, though, he got into trouble and was terribly beaten up. For an entire month he was in a coma. Our only hope was in God, as doctors were unable to do anything. I prayed day and night and asked God to save my son because he was only 25. Miraculously, Andrew came out of his coma and slowly started to improve. Because the injuries were so severe, we had to re-teach him everything from the beginning: how to walk, how to take care of himself, and how to eat. During one hospital visit we learned about the Church of Nazarene. In 2002 we got to know the pastor and started to attend the church. We found support and started to study the Bible. The church became our second family, and we have been attending for almost 10 years. Andrew still cannot speak normally because of the injury, but in the church people love him and understand his special needs. Now I am taking my 7-year-old granddaughter to the church with us as well. We cannot imagine our life without the church now. This is how Andrew’s story from the perspective of Maria Pakhomova, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene Church in Ulyanovsk, Russia, remembers Andrew’s story in Ulyanovsk: When I first met Andrew, I wrote this to my friend: “Today we have visited Andrew and his mother. I feel very bad now. He is only 25. He served a term in the Chechen Republic and returned home safe. Last year he was coming home from work and some guys beat him up and he was taken to emergency room. He was in coma, then he had two surgeries. The whole left part of his body was paralyzed. … He cannot close his mouth. His mother has to feed him because he cannot hold food in. Slowly he started to walk, and his right arm is working now, but he cannot open his palm. When all of this happened to him, his father died and his wife left him. And now the mother only has her disabled son. Doctors say that he can learn to speak again. He understands everything.” This is how we saw Andrew for the first time. We have prayed a lot for him. He has learned to walk, and he can communicate with gestures. But for a long time he could not accept the fact that he would live like that for the rest of his life. He started thinking about death. We were praying for him, and God put on my heart to make him a lead actor in a drama we were planning to perform in the center for war veterans. Andrew would play the role of a soldier going to war. Andrew still had difficulties moving back then, so we put a chair in the middle where he was supposed to sit, dressed in military uniform. In the play the mother was blessing him before the war. In the middle of the play, two bad characters said, “You love your Jesus. So die just like him,” and they tied Andrew to the cross. During all this time the mother was praying for him. In the end, Andrew’s soldier character came home safely. After the play, Andrew suddenly believed he could do something, and he believed in God. It was a moment of rebirth for him. He has asked us to baptize him, to make a conscious covenant as a sign of being a part of the body of Jesus Christ.
PROGRESS REPORT: NCM and the Church of the Nazarene currently are supporting two ministries for those with special needs in Russia and Ukraine.
In the US:
Make checks payable to General Treasurer
and send them to:
Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116
In Canada: Make checks payable Church of the Nazarene Canada and send them to:
Church of the Nazarene Canada
3657 Ponytrail Drive
Mississauga, ON L4X 1W5
Be sure to put ACM1735 in the Memo area. Thanks for your donation.