From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your support of the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 2011!
It is hard to believe that in a couple of weeks, we will already be celebrating Christmas and the New Year, gathering together with our families around the festal table and giving our children presents.
Just as any other father, I am sincerely concerned and worried for the future of my three children in the New Year, and cannot help but feel similarly for the fate of the FFA – an organization dear to me because for more than 50 years it has supported the worldwide community of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
We can rightly take pride in our accomplishments this year. Your generosity allowed us, among other things, to sponsor a number of events for youth and clergy, gather the necessary funds to pay for a critical operation for the wife of a renowned priest, and buy a new boat motor for the Orthodox mission in Uganda.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to send more than 250 young people to Orthodox conferences and gatherings, of which no fewer than ten were held this year. We can see from the youth’s responses that these conferences and gatherings, and especially pilgrimages, helped them to better understand why they should be Orthodox and support our Church.
In the words of one of the young women who took part in our youth programs: “We discovered that we were not alone, that Russian Orthodox people live everywhere around the world, and that was a great joy and moral support for us.”
The FFA spent the departing 2011 year championing special aid to our youth. And now, when we are walking the path of the Nativity Fast to the bright feast of the Nativity of Christ, we consider what it is that our Lord would want us to bring to the cradle of the Christ Child.
We ask that you join us in paying special heed to the needs of our youth, giving them an opportunity to grow and develop in the faith, so that they might follow us in carrying the light of Orthodoxy to the world. Your Christmas donation will help disseminate Orthodoxy and continue the missionary work of our Church through active work with our young people.
We ask that you join us in bringing hope and comfort to hundreds of young boys and girls, instructing them in the true path. Your donation, no matter how small, will help our youth understand that the Lord truly cares for them – and there is no greater Christmas gift.
With love in Christ,
Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia