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

 

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

 

 

For deaf children, love comes through...

Loud and clear!

 

Final stop on the Kristina tour of Belarus: a school for the deaf in Vitebsk, 27 miles from Russia.

The pictures are pretty she says; “their needs are hidden.”

 

One of 7 schools for the deaf around the country, this is home to 135 kids ages 3 to 18 — including 9 orphans.

 

Most are profoundly deaf, a few are severely hearing impaired.

“When possible, the younger kids are given cochlear implants,” Kristina says.

 

It’s a boarding school; the children live here 24/7.

The bedrooms aren’t in a separate facility; they’re adjacent to the classrooms.

 

The deeply dedicated teachers double as house mothers, pulling overnight duty on a rotating schedule.

 

The children put on a talent show for “The Great Kozovaya” and the American visitor.

Following the director’s signs, and feeling vibrations through the floor, even the deaf play musical instruments.

 

Likewise, dancers follow the lead of the director, who conducts in the back of the auditorium

 

This young lady did a lovely job of signing a song.

 

“And the clown show was really good!” Kristina says.

 

Young chefs created yummy pies for the special occasion.

 

“They train the boys in woodworking and furniture making, the girls in sewing and knitting,” Kristina says.

“Seems a little sexist to me — but the boys' wood shop teacher is a woman, so there is hope!”

 

The chair and table are products created by the wood shop classes.

 

No one is left out. A developmentally disabled student, unable to operate machinery, learns to hook by hand.

 

Children of all ages create works of art.

 

It’s a complete school. Phys ed for everybody!

 

“Even the profoundly deaf are taught to speak, in addition to using sign language.

Computers show them the sounds they make (you know those squiggly line graphs), and they compare their graph to the ideal.

All classrooms are arranged in semicircles so the kids can see the teachers' faces and hands — and each others’.”

 

And as in any school, love sometimes blooms!

 

Kristina spent a total of 9 days on the ground, and filed 7 separate reports.

To all who have given to New Thing so faithfully and generously, God bless you for sending her, to share your love in the former Soviet Union.

 

Thanks for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel

 

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