We are in a pretty heavy snowstorm here in the ‘ville which made me think of this story.
Nearly a decade ago, on a cold January night in a major city of the former Soviet Union, where streets were covered in ice and snow, I joined a young man to take food to children who lived on their own on the streets.
My friend parked his car near the main train station, we walked through the station and down the length of one of the platforms to the end and jumped down to the tracks. We walked about fifty feet to a path that came up to the tracks, then down the icy path and across a small bridge, under which a fast-moving creek poured. We climbed down the side of the culvert near the edge of the creek and there I saw our destination.
The culvert and bridge also housed a large steam pipe which was supported by concrete supports. Scrap plywood had been collected and used to construct a shelter around the steam pipe, a warm place to sleep for several street kids resulted. I was struck by the ingenuity of the kids to make a warm shelter during the freezing winter. My guide and I delivered bread, sausages and milk, visited awhile and left. These kids were not afraid of us because my friend was part of a regular team of volunteers who sought out kids where they were known to hang out and bring them food. At that time, the government of this country, reeling from the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union (just eight years earlier), estimated that there were 12,000 street kids in this city.
Today, the problem of street kids is different. There are less kids on the street because in the ensuing decade, the faithful work of Father’s House has made such an impact in their city that even government attitudes have changed toward the treatment of these kids. The problem is not gone, but there has been great progress in bringing justice to abandoned children. Hundreds and hundreds of kids have found hope because of followers of Jesus who cared and acted and made a difference. You can be part of this ongoing work by praying for Fathers House and prayerfully considering making a donation to support them in their ongoing work. To learn more click here.