St. Petersburg, Russia, November 18, 2019
A new “Bus of Mercy,” a mission to the city’s homeless, was blessed at the Church of the Nativity of Christ in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
The new volunteer ministry vehicle is a joint project of the club “Koinonia” (“Communion”) and the secular “Charity Hospital” association. The rite of blessing was celebrated by Fr. Alexei Artyukhov, the director of the Sunday School at the Church of the Nativity, reports the press service of the Metropolis of St. Petersburg of the Russian Orthodox Church.
“We blessed the automobile, which was given to our parish by some benefactors,” Fr. Alexei said.
“Mercy is an important Christian virtue. With its help, we not only help others be freed from their sorrows and misfortunes, but we change ourselves. Mercy comes from … a person who has learned love and compassion. Our workers and benefactors have been helping the homeless for several years already. With this equipped vehicle, our volunteers will be able to help those in need with pre-medical care and to warm them in the winter,” Fr. Alexei commented.
“Koinoina” club is engaged in youth and social services at the Church complex of the Nativity of Christ and the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, mainly aimed at helping the homeless in the area.
A “Bus of Mercy” was first launched by the “Diakonia” (“Service”) Fund in 2012, and by the St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki Fund the next year.
“Bus of Mercy” is a charitable project of the Russian Orthodox Church designed to provide pre-medical medical and emergency assistance, distribution of hot food, clothing, medicines, transportation of humanitarian goods, as well as providing social assistance to homeless people and people in difficult situations.
90 special shelters and 12 buses in the Russian Orthodox Church provide assistance to homeless people and people in difficult situations. Belarus’ first “Bus of Mercy” was launched in Brest in August.