Seven-year-old Stuart Yorty ran around the warehouse in Pennsylvania with boundless energy. Surrounded by hundreds of others, the thin blond boy helped sort through boxes of shoes, clothing and school supplies.
Everyone was packing supplies for the Global Aid Network, or GAiN, a ministry of Cru, to send to the former Soviet Union.
During one of the breaks from packing, Stuart watched a slide show about the children who would be receiving the gifts. He felt God stirring his heart.
"It brought tears to my eyes and made me want to go help them," he later wrote.
A few months later, Stuart and his mom, Ann, boarded a plane to Belarus. They spent two weeks visiting schools and orphanages, passing out supplies and talking with children. "We gave out Christmas boxes and Bibles," says Stuart, "and gospel bracelets, food and clothing. We got to tell them about our life here, and sometimes we played a game."
When Stuart returned from Belarus, he was still a bundle of enthusiasm, but this time with a greater purpose. "One to one, Stuart is very outgoing with people," says his mom, "but he doesn't like to stand in front of groups. It really surprised me how much he blossomed at being able to stand up in front of people and talk about the trip." Stuart gave a presentation to his Cub Scout troop and spoke in front of 200 kids at a nearby church.
"He has more awareness of living for Jesus than he ever had before," says his mom. "He definitely wants to go back."
For more information, visit www.gainusa.org or call (972) 234-0800.