A report from Doug Brendel to all who support or follow our New Thing ministry in Belarus...
What does your heart see?
Visualize the love!
Welcome to Molodzyechna!
Here, 90 minutes northwest of Minsk, Kristina visited a year-round boarding school for blind and visually impaired children:
102 of them, including 28 orphans, served by a staff of 95.
Once again, Kristina’s command of the Russian language (which she considers only “passable”) was super-valuable.
With the generous help of New Thing supporters, we funded a piece of high-tech magnifying equipment
which will give many of these visually impaired children an opportunity to see objects they’ve never been able to see before.
(It will arrive from the Russian manufacturer soon.)
For those whose vision is poor, huge brightly colored objects are helpful.
For those who can’t see at all, the shape and texture of an object provide vital cues.
Books with 3-D images help children learn the shape of objects, seeing with their fingers what they can’t see with their eyes.
The blind learn to read Braille.
Some kids can read with their fingers as fast as the sighted read with their eyes.
“They also have one deaf-blind student they’re working with as an experiment,” Kristina says,
“using techniques learned from a school in Russia.
If they’re successful, they’ll bring in more deaf-blind students.”
As you can imagine, the staff optometrist is a VIP here!
“The eye exam equipment is awfully primitive for a designated school for the blind,” Kristina reports.
“When I asked about the kind of equipment we’re used to seeing at our regular optometrist appointments,
they said, No, they don't have that, and they made it sound like an impossible dream.”
But this boarding school’s program isn’t just about vision issues. These children experience a complete educational program.
You’ve just arrived in German class.
Ich hoffe, dass Sie bereit sind! (I hope you’re ready!)
A little “zoo” gives these children an opportunity to interact with, and enjoy, live animals.
And since the children live here fulltime, these animals double as their “house pets.”
God bless all who give so compassionately and generously to help the children in this institution and 119 others all across Belarus, through your support of New Thing.
More photos to come.
Thanks for journeying with us!
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