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Forgotten Russia: Reaching the children you won’t see during the Olympics

OneHope and Russian churches host sports outreaches throughout Winter Games

PRLog - Feb. 7, 2014 - POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- Amidst the glitz and glitter of the Olympic Games, many will forget the Russia outside the city walls.  OneHope is seeking to reach many Russian children with the Gospel via outreaches centered around the games.

While the pictures we’re sure to see during the Olympic Games will show happy, healthy faces, rural Russia is defined by abject poverty—with high unemployment rates and more than half of all deaths between the ages of 15 and 54 caused by alcohol. [1]

“The juxtaposition of this celebration against the backdrop of a nation that is dying is glaring,” said OneHope President Rob Hoskins. “This country has quietly crept into the category of “forgotten,” with many corners of its vast geography untouched and unreached.”

OneHope is providing local churches with copies of the “Champions” Book of Hope—a special edition that shares the Gospel alongside testimonies of Christian Olympic athletes.

These churches plan to distribute 600,000 copies of the Champions book—including 100,000 in Sochi—before, during and after the games through winter sport sites, “Olympic fan zones,” sports competitions and trainings camps for kids. Some churches will even invite families in their communities to watch the Olympics together and follow the viewings with church services.

“There is huge need for the hope of the Gospel in Russia,” said Hoskins. “Many people think that since the USSR fell, the country has now been evangelized—the box has been checked. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are communities where the nearest Christian church is more than 100 miles away.”

In the most remote towns and villages, 40 Hosanna Plan teams will work in more than 30 regions to bring the Gospel to children during this season. These “One Year for Jesus” teams commit a year of their lives to minister in some of the most difficult regions of Russia and work in extremely hard conditions—often living on a bus with no running water and eating whatever is available in their region.

This year alone, the churches in Russia and the Hosanna Plan teams will share the Gospel story with more than 5 million children and youth through OneHope programs.

About OneHope

Founded in 1987, OneHope is an international ministry that is changing lives by sharing Scripture with young people around the world. Each Scripture program is age specific and customized based on research OneHope conducts among children and youth, leaders and educators in the countries it works. In collaboration with churches and ministries — and working with local governments, schools and non-governmental organizations — OneHope has reached nearly a billion young people in more than 125 countries with a relevant Gospel message. OneHope will reach its billionth child with the Gospel in early 2014. www.OneHope.net


Rob Hoskins; OneHope President.

If you would like more information about OneHope or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Calea Bakke at 954.975.7777 x1149 or caleabakke@onehope.net.

[1] http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2009/090626.html


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