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Toy Story in Siberia

During their visitation of the Evangelical-Lutheran congregation in Edineniye village in Chita Region, Fr. Alexei Streltsov and Fr. Igor Kizyaev delivered toys to the children of the congregation.

A box of toys was assembled in St. Andrew parish in Novosibirsk. The bulk of it came from California as a part of a generous Easter donation from fellow Lutherans in California. Most of the toys that came from America were made in China, which is very typical for todays American market. What makes it interesting, however, is that these toys that were produced in China, made that long journey to California only to return almost to the borders of China.

The village of Edineniye is situated between Chita and China, about 250 miles from the border between China and Russia. Parishioners noted that, unlike some toys that they get directly from China, these were of a superior quality. Some Chinese toys carried across the border are said to be very hazardous for childrens health. And people in this village are so poor that they hardly can afford any toys anyway. Edinenye is located in a very remote part of Siberia. The mission there was started three years ago by Fr. Kizayev. At present there are 35 members in this congregation.

All the toys were distributed to children in the congregation. Both children and their parents were very grateful to those Christians who shared their love with them. For the local people, it was truly an event to be remembered.

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