Operation Carelift 2003 Summer Project Celebrates Historic Ministry Potential during St. Petersburg’s 300th Anniversary

Campus Crusade for Christ
Friday, 14 March 2003

Over the last decade, Operation Carelift has walked alongside the Russian people through thick storms of adversity that, at times, have worn their hope thin. Though hardships continue, a refreshing spirit of celebration is eclipsing day-to-day challenges as the nation nears May 27, 2003—the 300th anniversary of its beloved cultural capital of St. Petersburg. For the yearlong event—which coincides with Operation Carelift's 2003 Summer Project, June 27-July 7—the ministry is searching for 370 volunteers to participate in the mission trip and "rejoice with those who are rejoicing!" (Romans 12:15, NIV).

"This should be a celebration for everyone," said Josh McDowell, Operation Carelift's founder who was appointed to serve as the only foreign representative on the foundation committee for the city's massive 300th anniversary celebration. Vladmir Mironov, president of the foundation committee and a confidant to Russian President Vladmir Putin, invited McDowell to the committee because of the ministry's history of caring for Russia's impoverished children, as well as the sick and elderly. Since 1991, Operation Carelift has provided more than 3,700 tons of aid totaling $42 million to the needy people of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. "Your love for St. Petersburg, your tireless and noble charity will help to celebrate the anniversary and will be appreciated by all the people of the city," said Mironov's invitation letter to McDowell.

It's an honor for Operation Carelift to be at the center of such a historic moment, as St. Petersburg restores the dazzle and extravagance of palaces and museums that make it a cultural center. However, the U.S. team is most excited about the ministry potential presented by the anniversary. In the backdrop of government-sponsored festivals, sporting events, theatrical productions, and dedications scheduled throughout St. Petersburg, Operation Carelift will work to incite a spiritual revolution among the Russian church, in an effort to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the city's 4.7 million men, women, and children.

"We desire to spark a spiritual revolution that will last beyond St. Petersburg's next 300 years," said Duane Zook, vice president of international ministry for Josh McDowell Ministry and overseer of the project. "Our hope is also that Operation Carelift will help our Russian brothers and sisters build their credibility in a culture where severe limitations still exist for the church," he added. Over the years, Operation Carelift has been successful at gaining passage into places where local churches are largely prohibited. This summer, the volunteers will visit more than 100 St. Petersburg orphanages, prisons, camps, hospitals, and baby houses, where administrators will open their doors to the gospel as much-needed aid is delivered.

Although most of Operation Carelift's ministry will take place in St. Petersburg, small delegations will also be traveling to cities in Siberia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

For more information about how to participate, please contact Josh McDowell Ministry's international team at (972) 907-1000. Operation Carelift is a ministry of the Josh McDowell Ministry, located in Dallas, Texas. Josh McDowell Ministry is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International.

For more information, or to contact Campus Crusade for Christ, see their website at: www.ccci.org

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