Our team not only goes to hard places most don’t want to go to; we also stay in places many are trying to leave. At one of our high-security sites, a July 2023 report indicated that 78% of citizens want to emigrate or are in the process of doing so. Similarly, an April 2023 survey showed that only 17.2% of respondents intend to stay in the country. In the church, 5% of pastors and leaders cross-denominationally are leaving. “This is a special country,” says site coordinator “Jackson.” “But people want to emigrate…for the frequent economic difficulties we have.” 

Between a 60% inflation rate, power cuts for over ten hours per day, limited public transportation, and shortages in food, medicine, and gas, families are struggling to afford their children’s basic needs. Exacerbating this, social conflicts and violence render daily life unsafe. 

But this is where God has called us to serve, and He is making a way for His little ones. 

Started in 2019 in collaboration with both a national and a stateside church, our site in this country currently serves 115 children. Each child receives a weekly home visit from a care worker who checks in on the child’s physical, spiritual, and familial health and prays with them. On the weekends, all 115 kids attend age-appropriate Bible classes taught by seminary students—an opportunity for learning for both the kids and these church leaders-in-training. Through sponsorship, the children are also receiving meals and Bible materials to study. 

Despite the hardships facing residents, the gospel is spreading. Ranking as the number one user of a popular Bible app, this country is also seeing more and more house churches being planted. These national churches have been blessed by the recent work of short-term mission teams, and our donors have given generously to our children’s program, enabling the churches to offer events like Vacation Bible School this year. 

“We had 200 children at VBS this year,” Jackson says. “VBS is a great opportunity for sharing the gospel with them.” The theme was “Jesus makes everything new,” and our team found creative ways to personalize Jesus’ call to salvation. Jackson explains that they made a sign that said “Jesus calls me by my name” and then had “every child write his name the sign, and then we prayed for each child.” 

The outreach doesn’t end when VBS does, however. “We try to involve children in different activities in the church,” Jackson reports. This includes singing in a choir and attending summer camp at a seminary, which Jackson describes as a fun “opportunity to spend time with other children.” 

This year, this GlobalFingerprints site also hosted training for church leaders representing ten denominations to help them understand the needs of the children and how to help them. “It’s for the future, you know?” Jackson says. “We try to train up leaders.” In 2024, our team aims to add ninety more children to sponsorship and to offer occupational training for teens transitioning out of the program. 

Currently, fifteen children in this program are waiting for a sponsor. Could you be the one these kids are praying for? Visit us online to support a child in need today!