A United States-based evangelical association has helped churches in over 10 countries in the former Soviet Union provide over 750,000 meals to hungry families as the coronavirus pandemic has caused economic struggles and hunger.
The Illinois-based Slavic Gospel Association, which serves over 6,350 churches across countries in Eastern Europe and Asia, has worked with its partners to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed families as the region continues to see spikes in the number of coronavirus cases.
Russia recently surpassed over 400,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and ranks third in the world in a number of cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. Over 5,000 have died in Russia after contracting the virus and the country is still on lockdown.
“The churches recognize that while this pandemic is a very difficult situation where many people are suffering, it probably represents the greatest opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel since the [Berlin] Wall came down,” SGA President Michael Johnson told The Christian Post. “The churches and the church workers are highly motivated to do what they can to minister to the people in those communities, both in word and deed.”
“These people are already doing the work,” Johnson added. “What we are trying to do is connect people here with the churches over there and help them to purchase resources locally so they can distribute food, medicine, and other items.”
SGA, which was founded in 1934 to covertly distribute Bibles to Christians in the communist Soviet Union, today serves churches in the former Soviet Union aligned with the Union of Evangelical Christian and Baptist Churches.
SGA established its Christ Over COVID campaign earlier this spring and issued a worldwide call to prayer.
In the background, the SGA has worked with its partner ministries in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world to secure financial resources to help evangelical churches in those countries serve those in distress.
Johnson said that because SGA has a giant network of churches, it “can get aid to the point of need in just about all parts of those countries, even in the remotest regions in northern Siberia.”
“We have an infrastructure that we have established in those countries that provide all the accountability as well as the supply chain facilities,” he said. “So we are able to get the resources out to people pretty quickly. Those church workers have such compassion in their countries and they meet these people at their point of need. And many of these people are at the end of their ropes.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith