COMMENTARY: The Gospel Power of a Bag of Groceries

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You have in all probability by no means considered a bag of groceries as having “energy.”
 
However the place I dwell in Siberia, Russia, a bag full of staple meals is highly effective. Given as a present of affection from my native church, it says: “We care about you, and you might be beloved by us and by God.”
 
I used to be born after the years of communism, however in my homeland, the legacy of godlessness continues to be strongly felt in my era — these of their 20s and youthful — which is determined for goal and which means in life.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has pressured many younger Russians to place their desires on maintain. Proper now, a lot of my fellow college students are struggling to afford even a single bag of groceries.
 
I’ve recognized monetary hardship for many of my life. I used to be raised in a household of 9 kids, and my mom died once I was 11 years previous — solely 9 years in the past. I bear in mind sobbing and questioning how I might go on dwelling with out her. She was a Christian and the ‘glue’ that held our household collectively. Even once we had no cash, she by some means managed to serve up a easy meal for us. Then she was gone.
 
I bear in mind the primary time somebody introduced us a bag of groceries, containing bread, rice, and different meals objects. The pastor of an area church knocked on the door and mentioned: “That is for you… we wish you to know that God loves you and he cares about you.”

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I began going to the church the place I heard that God cared for me with such intense love — a love I wanted to share with my neighbors and pals, particularly these battling starvation and a sense of hopelessness.
 
At present, 1000’s of Russian believers like me wish to share God’s love within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re knocking on doorways, with a bag of groceries of their palms, able to share the Gospel in phrase and motion. They’re opening the door of individuals’s hearts.
 
Wrapped in God’s Love
Who would have thought {that a} easy bag of groceries — wrapped in God’s love — may very well be so highly effective?
 
For me, being concerned on this compassionate ministry with Slavic Gospel Affiliation and my native church is an expression of energetic compassion within the lives of others. That is precisely what I’ve discovered from Jesus — to present and be there for others of their time of want.
 
Once I see the loving participation of individuals within the church, their actions fill me with pleasure and encourage me. My church is a household to me now, the place I not solely obtain but in addition give again. It is an instrument of sanctification, the place I be taught to serve folks and love them. My coronary heart is to succeed in younger folks with the Gospel.
 
I consider we regularly do not discover how caring God is, and the way typically he gives by different folks. Such moments assist me notice the duty and significance of my very own dedication to the church, and this motivates me to not stand apart however slightly to be on the very middle of God’s actions.
 
To me, the reward of a easy bag of groceries carries a life-changing message that we’re not alone, however now we have one another and God is close to.
 
I do know that I am simply one of many 1000’s of believers throughout Russia and the previous Soviet Union taking the love of Christ to households throughout the COVID-19 disaster. 1000’s of our Bible-believing, evangelical church buildings are a part of this motion of God’s love… a motion known as “Christ Over COVID,” partnering with Slavic Gospel Affiliation SGA to share groceries and Gospel hope with our neighbors.  
 
I am reminded that wherever we dwell on this world, we’re one within the bond of Christ’s love. And a easy bag of groceries — when it is given wrapped in God’s love — is highly effective… highly effective sufficient to remodel a life.
 
Alla Ivanov is a 20-year-old college scholar dwelling in Omsk, Russia, serving others by her native evangelical church in partnership with Illinois-based Slavic Gospel Affiliation’s “Christ Over COVID” marketing campaign, delivering groceries and the Gospel to households going through starvation throughout the previous Soviet Union.

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