December 6, 2018

In a Russian City, Charity Program Is Spearheading Adventist Ministry

A charity program implemented three years ago by a local church could be a model to be replicated in other cities, said Adventist leaders in the Russian city of Yoshkar-Ola. The “Good Hands” charity program launched its third season at the local Seventh-day Adventist church on November 25, 2018, the same day Russia celebrated Mother’s Day. 

“The first meeting this year was very positive,” said one of the organizers in that city of 250,000, located almost 500 miles (800 kilometers) east of Moscow. “We were glad to see old visitors who warmly greeted the volunteers of our team, as well as those who came to the program for the first time.”

The charity made the most of the special occasion and treated mothers to a special celebratory program, organizers reported. Church volunteers shared poems and songs about mothers, and each woman present received a small gift.

Body, Mind, and Soul

Activities highlighted the need for taking care of every aspect of the body. At a talk dedicated to physical activity, guests learned the latest scientific data on the positive effects of exercise on reducing the likelihood of suffering some serious health conditions. People were invited to start with what was called “the most effective and at the same time most simple exercise” — walking. Led by a sports instructor, participants who desired to do so took part in stretching and mild aerobic exercises.

Later, as parents received information about effective family life, an artist offered to their children the chance to create colorful decorations.

At the end of the meeting, each guest was given the opportunity to choose from a selection of used clothes for themselves and their families. They could also take home a package of healthy food.

The local church pastor explained to attendees that this social initiative was spearheaded and financed by a team of volunteers, all of them members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He invited all those interested to come to future seminars on spiritual topics. 

One of the organizers said the timing was perfect. “As evidence that people are in search of something deeper, as the meeting was closing, several came to inquire about the dates and times of the seminars,” he said.

The program is scheduled to take place on a Sunday twice a month. Now the local church is planning to add computer literacy workshops and other classes, following suggestions from the participants.

“We dream of a similar social ministry in every city,” the Good Hands charity program leaders said. “[We want to keep] combining our social outreach with spiritual seminars and health talks.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Euro-Asia Division news page.

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