The theme of this issue of the East-West Church & Ministry Report, children at risk in post-Soviet societies, draws heavily upon presentations given at the National Summit of the CoMission for Children at Risk, held in Atlanta, GA, 9-11 November 2000. At that meeting more than 200 participants representing over 120 church and parachurch agencies gave concentrated focus to practical questions regarding Christian ministry to post-Soviet orphans and street children.
Vision for the meeting came from Peter and Anita Deyneka of Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries, Wheaton, IL. Longtime advocates and practitioners of ministry in the Soviet--and now post-Soviet--bloc, the Deynekas already had served as catalysts for a July 2000 Moscow meeting of Russian Christians involved in work with homeless children. As a result of this gathering, a very capable professional, Natalia Loginova, emerged to lead a new indigenous organization, "To Russian Children With Love," whose purpose is to facilitate Christian ministry to children at risk. Mrs. Loginova and another concerned Russian believer, Mrs. Galina Obrovets, attended the National Summit in Atlanta, providing many specific and concrete opportunities for Western ministries to partner with Russian Christians in outreach to homeless children. (See their eleven proposed projects posted on the Global Center Web site: www.samford.edu/groups/global.)
Even though in late June 2000 Peter Deyneka faced an immediate return to the U.S. for medical testing and treatment, he and his wife Anita nevertheless met with Natalia Loginova and Galina Obrovets for over four hours, discussing how best to help Russian orphans and street children and planning for the National Summit scheduled for November 2000. The Deynekas were not able to attend the Atlanta meeting they helped inspire because of Peter's failing condition. This highly respected mission statesman died of lymphoma cancer on 23 December 2000--see East-West Church & Ministry Report 9 (Winter 2001), 4-6. But the inspiration and dedication of this exemplary missionary couple nevertheless gave momentum to the other conference planners: Dr. Ron Braund of Mission Specialties (chair) and Dr. Mark Elliott of the Beeson Divinity School Global Center (program coordinator).
So much valuable material on ministry to post-Soviet children at risk is now available, from the National Summit and from other sources, that the East-West Church & Ministry Report can only publish a sampling of it. This being the case, full texts of articles, equivalent in length to what is published in the present theme issue, may be accessed and downloaded from the Beeson Divinity School Global Center Web site: www.samford.edu/groups/global. Articles on post-Soviet children at risk not included in this theme issue but available at the Global Center Web site, are Richard Carter, "The Silent Crisis: Children in Poverty in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union"; Angela Charlton, "Where Bathing is a Luxury"; Barbara Johnson, "Humanitarian Aid and Russian Customs"; Jack Stevenson, "Assisting Orphanages in Siberia"; Chris Cavanaugh, "NGOs in Russia: Providing Alternative Services to Children and Families"; Mike Douris, "Foster Care for Russian Orphans"; Masha Suzdaleva, "Microenterprise Development for Children at Risk"; Nila Neumiller, "The Body Language of Children at Risk"; Alexandre Zouev, "A UNICEF Report Documenting Post-Soviet Children at Risk"; Deborah Hastings, "Russia's Exported Children"; Deniese Dillon, "Fifty Years of International Adoption"; and Debbie Wynne, "International Adoption--Lessons and Cautions."
Mark Elliott is editor of the East-West Church & Ministry Report.
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© 2001 East-West Church and Ministry Report