doug1 is your love in action, inside the former Soviet Union


A report from Doug Brendel to all who support or follow our New Thing ministry in Belarus...


Cheaper by the dozen? 12 is only the beginning

This family ... just keeps going!


Meet the Trifonovs.

If you can’t remember everybody’s names, don’t worry. The names — and the faces — keep changing.


At the moment, there are actually 4 Trifonovs — dad Dima, mom Natasha, and 2 children — plus 11 foster children, 2 visiting college students — oh, almost forgot: 2 great dogs.


Kristina visited along with “The Great Kozovaya,” second-in-command Lydia Danielevna, interpreter Katya, and photographer Oleg.


Mom is a former nurse. Dad is a musician who simply had a dream ... to take children in need into his home, and raise them.

His dream is coming true.


There’s a steady stream of children growing up in this beautiful, ever-changing family.

All 11 children living there today have parents too alcohol-addicted to care for them.


And all 11 children have suffered some sort of physical problem: prenatal brain damage, or problems with stomach, lung, or heart.

The day Kristina and our team visited, 4 of the children were in the hospital, one getting his pacemaker fixed.


The government of Belarus, moving steadily away from the big orphanage-institution type of care for abused and abandoned children, provides housing for willing foster parents.


The Trifonovs live in a large 6th- and 7th-floor flat in a red brick building in northeast Minsk.

Friends in the furniture business have provided furniture for the family, but everything else — repairs, upgrades — is up to the ingenious Trifonovs themselves.


What’s that behind the cat? A bucket. They’ve rigged a tube to catch the leaks from the skylight.

(The cat picture hides the ugly bucket.)


The upper floor is all bedrooms. Heating and cooling are a problem. There are beautiful skylights upstairs (this is the top floor), which let in a lovely light.

But they also let in the cold. And in summer, these rooms are very hot. On the day our team visited, temps in Minsk were unseasonably mild. T-shirts! A luxury!


“How can we help?” Kristina asked. The answer was not long in coming:

The family’s greatest need is a portable heat-and-cooling pump for the top floor.

(It would cost about $400, an impossible figure for them to even dream of spending.)


(Second priority: a heavy-duty meat grinder —

which would be a tremendous help in feeding such a large family on a limited budget.

Cost: about the same as a heat pump.)


The children were delighted to receive gift boxes — it happened to be Orthodox New Year’s Eve.


God bless the friends of New Thing who give so generously and faithfully, so that we can take gifts large and small wherever we go!


Our “Response of the Heart” team will have the joy of providing humanitarian aid for this happy, hard-working family in the days to come.

With your support of New Thing, you’re part of the adventure!


More photos to come.

Thanks for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel


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