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General Conference

Experience of Volunteering in Bratsk

Pastor of the East Siberian Mission Anton Smirnov Shares His Experience of Volunteer Service.

Russia | Anton SMIRNOV, Information Department of the East Siberian Mission

At the end of March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic reached Siberia. As a result, a self-isolation regime was declared, which especially affected the elderly. It was at this time that I accidentally saw a message in a newsfeed that volunteers were needed to help elderly people who could not leave their homes and could not count on the help of relatives.

I immediately called the hotline that was offered there, and I was told about the procedure for becoming a volunteer. I completed the training and received a certificate under the Good 2020 program, and then came to the volunteer headquarters of the Medical Volunteers organization, where they gave me a badge, and also explained the rules for providing assistance.

The principle of operation was as follows: an application from elderly people was sent to the group in Viber - usually, these were requests to buy and bring food or medicine. The freeman took the application and fulfilled it. 

I believe that such volunteer help is part of serving the Lord, so I gladly agreed to take the time to buy the necessary food and bring it to people. Often, when handing over food, I also gave the Hidden Treasure newspaper. And some people asked questions about this newspaper, which made it possible to tell them about God's love and His help.

I did volunteer work without expecting any thanks. However, along with other volunteers, I was invited to the city administration of the city of Bratsk, where the Head of the City Administration, Sergei Vasilyevich Serebryanikov, presented the volunteers with thank you letters signed by the President of Russia, as well as commemorative awards.

First of all, I am grateful to the Lord for this opportunity to be useful to those who find themselves in a difficult situation and need help, because every good gift comes from His hand.

This article was originally published on the Euro-Asia Division’s news site