A report from Doug Brendel to all who support or follow our New Thing ministry in Belarus...
Actions speak louder than “hee-haw!”
Do you speak puppet?
Sometimes love is as close as your hand
If children are abused or abandoned in the region north of Minsk, the authorities bring them here.
A fiercely dedicated team of professionals provide love and care for the traumatized children, while working to make their homes safe for their return.
Friends of New Thing have been supporting the workers here for a long time.
This was our 10th-anniversary visit to the shelter — a Brendel family photo on the director’s office wall reveals how much our daughter Lydia Charlotte has grown since her first visit here.
“Gimme 5” needs no translation.
A few weeks ago I asked Facebook friends in our local area to donate used puppets for this visit.
Lauren Adams responded with a lifetime supply — and they were a huge hit with the children ... uh, and the grown-ups.
Lydia Danielevna, of our “Response of the Heart” team, was once the CFO of the Communist Youth Party for the entire Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus.
Did she ever imagine playing the part of a toucan in a Zhodino children’s shelter?
We always bring sweets, but the “big boys” were a little shy about receiving treats from a 13-year-old American girl.
It’s rare to meet a Belarusian child who doesn’t love bananas.
Usually they eat them. (Kristina’s call did not go through.)
The outstanding Samaritan’s Purse organization provides donated gift boxes, no two alike.
With New Thing’s support, our Response of the Heart team brings the boxes in and distributes them to children all over Belarus.
“What did you get?” is always a highlight of the Americans’ visit.
No telling what 4-year-old Artuom has been through, but he has responded beautifully to the love and care of the workers here.
He’s bubbly — full of energy — a constant delight.
Artuom is also a budding photographer. He was happy to borrow Lydia Charlotte’s iPod and start shooting.
Over the course of this decade, we’ve had the privilege of totally renovating the facilities.
Many of the photos of children on these walls were taken by our faithful photographer, Oleg.
“The Great Kozovaya” heads our Response of the Heart team in Belarus.
She and Lydia Danielevna are giving their golden years to the care of those in need all over this country.
The children live here up to 6 months before they either return home or — if it’s still not safe — move on to placement with relatives or in foster homes.
But along the way, we have the joy of bringing a little light into their lives.
Thank you to all who have given so generously to New Thing. You’re making a difference here.
More photos to come.
Thanks for journeying with us!
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