The LCMS partners with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCIR) on a variety of ministries including theological education, church planting and projects of mercy. For several years, this partnership work has included supporting the prison ministry work in and around Novosibirsk, Siberia. Part of this ministry focuses on providing a living environment, known as the Hope Halfway House, for those being released from prison. Many have had backgrounds of addiction to drugs and alcohol, and so this ministry helps them transition back into Russian society while avoiding the pitfalls that could cause them to return to prison.
After years of working towards purchasing a Halfway House to serve those recently released from prison in the process of rehabilitation, a facility was purchased in 2012. This facility provided room, board and skills training to help these people see Christ through the care and compassion of the Church. Unfortunately, on the night of February 6-7, the Halfway House caught on fire and burned down. Local church leaders are scrambling to provide basic human needs. In the video below, Rev. Juha Saari explains the ministry of the home and the devastation of the fire.
How can you help?
After the fire: