A report from Doug Brendel to all who support or follow our New Thing ministry in Belarus...
It started out really ugly ...
Then it got, uh, better?...
And then it was Christmas!
To you and me, it may look like a simple rectangular conference room.
But to the workers at Zhodino, north of Minsk, in the shelter for abused and abandoned children, this is a dream come true.
And friends of New Thing helped make it happen.
Give me two minutes and I’ll tell you about it....
We have so many wonderful memories of this place ... the first institution we ever visited with “The Great Kozovaya” (left), who heads our “Response of the Heart” team.
Over the past decade, New Thing’s dedicated friends have invested heavily — a total of $100,000+ — to make this old house a home for children in crisis.
You helped build a brand-new commercial kitchen and a full laundry facility, renovate all the dorms, replace virtually all the furniture, and equip the offices.
You also built “Domik” (little house), an after-school center for at-risk children in the town...
...and “Zontik” (little umbrella), a safe place for counseling and comforting children involved in court cases involving domestic violence and other traumas.
This shelter eventually became the jewel of the Republic of Belarus, featured on Belarusian television.
Groups from other shelters all over the country actually take tours and learn from these leaders.
Your support for New Thing, brought to life in this Zhodino shelter, is being multiplied in the lives of countless children in need across the nation of Belarus.
But there was never a single assembly hall for concerts, conferences, celebrations, and the like.
The only way to fit that many children or adults into one place was to clear out the dining area.
There was a wretched, long-abandoned room in the shelter (which itself was an abandoned kindergarten more than half a century ago).
It would need new floors, walls, ceilings, lighting, window coverings, furniture — new everything — in order to become a usable multi-purpose space.
When the shelter director drew up a budget for the project, we challenged her:
If you raise half the money from other sources, New Thing will provide the other half.
That’s what happened!
(We were actually able to fulfill our part of the bargain thanks to friends of New Thing making contributions without even being asked!)
Now, for the first time ever, there’s a place where all the children in the shelter and the after-school center, as well as all the staff, along with visitors, can gather for events.
Thank you to all who have given so generously, so faithfully, and so spontaneously!
More adventures to come!
Thanks for journeying with us!
To give online — click here
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To send a check by snail mail — New Thing, 403 Linebrook Road, Ipswich MA 01938
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