Friday, November 7
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World Community Day
In 2013 Christians gathered in the city of Smolensk to share and to learn how better to reach a particular population—the graduates from Russia’s orphanage system. This is perhaps the most vulnerable population in Russia, with many falling through the cracks. From 16 cities and as many churches, from as far away as the Ural Mountains to the west and the Black Sea region to the south, teams gathered to glean a new understanding of the struggles of these young adults and to think about strategies.
Eamon Anderson, a social worker from the University of Montana and member of First Presbyterian Church in Missoula, spoke on trauma and PTSD in children and adolescents. As she shared about the symptoms and long-term effects, it was as if lights came on. People recognized what she was talking about, not just in the orphans they work with but also in members of their congregations and people in their communities. The statistics she shared about the connection between childhood trauma and depression and between substance abuse and suicide were startling. Eamon was not sharing easy solutions, just the gift of some insight about the trauma reactions that guide behavior and often paralyze these young adults.
Present at this gathering were many young people who are part of the orphanage ministry teams of their congregations. Also present were a number of orphanage graduates who have had their lives transformed by the ministry and are themselves now engaged through the churches that gave them a new home.
—Ellen Smith, PC(USA) mission coworker, Russian Federation
Let us join in prayer for:
Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy: Pastor Matthew Laferty • Russian Orthodox Church • Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Russia: Rev. Alexei Smirnov, president, Rev. Vitaly Vlasenko, director, external church relations • Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States: Acting Archbishop Dietrich Brauer
Archpriest Vladimir Fedorov and Ms. Marina Shishova
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Dear Lord, we lift up your children who are burdened with the trauma of their childhood. We pray that your healing peace might wash over them, so that they might overcome their history and become light for others. Amen.