Earlier this year, two minibuses and four cars travelled through the snow to a Christian Conference centre near Moscow where, thanks to generous donations, a total of 27 young people and 21 mentors/trainee leaders/supporters and two toddlers were able to attend the youth weekend away!
Workshops, seminars and discussions included subjects such as; personal responsibility, friendship building, relationships, looking for God, and leading like Jesus! There were a number of sessions on topics such as leadership and finding God in your everyday life. During a discussion on relationships, the group of orphan girls were given the opportunity to ask anything about relationships and their experiences!
They couldn’t wait to ask questions because so much about relationships is left unspoken in this culture where there is no middle ground between holding hands and getting married.
Because of this, many orphans rush into marriage very young, they quickly have children and will often discover their husbands become abusive all by the time they are 20. This can be due to a poor example of parenting or no example at all, combined with deep poverty that breeds hopelessness, increasing the likelihood of turning to drugs and alcohol.
Through conversations it was apparent that having never heard the biological facts about pregnancy, they relied on old wives tales in an attempt to stay safe. After having honest discussions with the girls about reproduction and their own bodies, there was talk about what it really meant to have a loving relationship prompting huge emotional responses and many tears. They were told about the wonderful truth that God loves each of them, that His love is unconditional, and that He wants them as His children.
The weekend challenged everyone, especially the Genesis youth who, in their past, have been told they were stupid, had never opened a Bible or had someone ask their opinion before. They relished learning and some were keen to keep discussing beyond the meeting times! We shared meals like a family and there was much laughter cementing our long-distance relationship during a very special weekend.
You can continue supporting these young people as they grow and adapt to life outside orphanages with Sponsorship.
Read more >