Russia’s Largest Protestant Ministry to the Elderly
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, senior citizens were among the most honored people in Soviet society because of the contributions they’d made during World War II. These were the people who were at the front lines, fending off invading Nazis in a war that claimed the lives of 27 million citizens in that region of the world. And afterward, it was this segment of the population that helped rebuild roads and highways and reconstruct entire cities — including apartments, hospitals, and public buildings that still stand in this vast region today.
But with the fall of Communism, the world around them as they knew it also fell apart. As senior citizens, these men and women found themselves lost in a new world they never saw coming. Their passports held the name of a nation that no longer existed. Everything they’d given their lives to build just “disappeared” from before them, including their dreams of being well cared for in their senior years. In a very real way, this segment of society — once so revered — became “orphaned adults.”
Vitamin Club is a powerful outreach to Moscow’s oldest citizens. More than 4,000 elderly people, many of them former communists and atheists, come to us every month to take advantage of this program designed just for them! We wish you could see and experience the way the hearts of these elderly people are touched by this demonstration of God’s love. Many cry; some even weep; and others laugh. So many of them have expressed to us:
‘It has been years since anyone has paid attention to us. We just don’t understand why you love us so much and why you want to do this wonderful thing for us.’
The Vitamin Club outreach, begun by RENNER Ministries in 2004, conducts annual concert events — which have numbered up to 16,000 in attendance — as well as its weekly Golden Age services and monthly mini-concerts. These meetings and events still include the distribution of food staples, Bibles, Christian literature, vitamins, arthritis creams, and other necessities for these seniors whose meager pensions are insufficient for purchasing such items.
In the eight years that have passed since Golden Stars and Vitamin Club first began, more than 30,000 senior citizens have been ministered to through this outreach. Of that original number, many have died due to old age, and others are too infirm or elderly to attend meetings ? yet more than 4,000 monthly continue to actively participate in our meetings. Since a significant percentage of Moscow’s elderly who come to Christ through this outreach do so at the very last moments of their lives on earth, Vitamin Club truly is a last-chance ministry!
Please click on the video below, in which Rick talks in-depth about the strategic plan the Lord gave him for winning this hard-to-reach segment of Moscow’s population to Christ.