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Russian teen ministers to orphans in Moscow


Sue Champion serves in Moscow teaching ballet, acting, and English to Russian youth. Here she describes sharing the gospel with a young woman and watching her grow into a mature disciple of Christ.

One day I was teaching a children’s English conversation class, and in walked an adorable eight-year-old girl. Her smile lit up the room! As the class progressed throughout the year, this little girl excelled at English and spent a lot of her time helping the other kids in the group. By the end of the year, she had made quite an impression on me. Unfortunately, when the class ended, we wouldn’t see each other again for several years.

Four years later, I was starting an acting group for preteens and teens to help them improve their English skills. I usually had 100 students each year, and I wanted the acting group to consist of kids who showed promise in acting as well as English. My mind suddenly went back to that little girl who had learned English so quickly. But surely she’d be too young. No, wait, she’d be 12-years old now! But who was she?

I decided to ask the receptionists at our English school to help me, and they found her! She was still a student there! I immediately contacted Nastya and asked her if she’d be interested in joining my new group, and she agreed!

Nastya was extremely smart, joyful, and responsible! She had turned into a wonderful preteen! I had never doubted she would. About 15 preteens and teens were now meeting once a week with me, and we were learning all kinds of American plays. Nastya became my strongest actress. Eventually, an opportunity came to our acting group to visit an orphanage, do some performances, and play games with the orphans. Nastya fell in love with the children immediately, and made long-term friends with some of them.

During this time, Nastya was also taking private English lessons with me. This naturally led to questions about the meaning of life and the existence of God. I was the first person to explain the gospel to her, and tell her about a personal relationship with Jesus. Soon our academic lessons became Bible studies and, as Nastya grew into a teenager, she became hungrier and hungrier for God! She would often say to me, “Just explain the Bible to me! That’s all I want!”

Nastya is now in her first year of college, studying journalism. Her passion is orphans, and I often tell her she needs to become an orphanage director. She has single-handedly decided to visit orphanages once a week to love children. She brings them things they need, and carries bunches of heavy bags on the buses and trains to make sure the kids’ needs are met. Recently, she found The Salvation Army group, and is now volunteering her time feeding the poor and going to their Bible studies.

I don’t see Nastya much these days. She’s just too busy loving people somewhere out there in this mega-city of Moscow that we call home! But it doesn’t matter, every time we get together it’s like a joyful family reunion.

Love is exponential. Salvation’s song is exponential. Reaching even one person with Christ’s love can eventually change the lives of dozens, maybe even hundreds of people. Nastya is proof of that. She’s been sharing her love of Christ with family, friends, and strangers alike!

I am confident that the Lord will shine His light through her here in this big, cold city, warming many hearts as she goes along. May He be forever praised!

Next steps:

  • Pray for Nastya as she grows in faith and shares the love of Jesus with others.
  • Pray for Chris and Sue as they minister to Russian teens.
  • Explore our personnel needs to discover ways to serve cross culturally. (The list is not exhaustive.)