A report from Doug Brendel to all who support or follow our New Thing ministry in Belarus...
In an old place...
The young thrive
Let’s go back in time....
This is Staroborisov, or “Old Borisov.” Founded in the year 1002 A.D.
So, yeah, it’s old.
Here, at the end of a series of winding dirt roads, Kristina visited a boarding school for children with compromised immune systems.
They’ve been exposed to tuberculosis by a parent or close relative.
None of these children have TB, but they’re at risk.
So they come here for a period (usually one school semester) and receive treatment to bolster their immune system, and improve their health in general.
Director Alexander Anatolivich and his staff are relentlessly positive, full of determination.
Alexander is “a bundle of enthusiasm,” Kristina says, “in spite of suffering with gout!”
And he has a great way with the kids, she adds.
Even with many challenges, especially financial, they’ve kept this old facility in very good shape.
With 150 children at any given time — 400 over the course of a year — there’s a lot of laundry to do.
Unfortunately, the laundry facilities are some of the worst we’ve ever seen in Belarus.
“Pretty awful,” Kristina reports. “Horrid. Poor ventilation. Crumbling walls.
Pallets on the floor to keep workers out of leaking water.”
“There’s no dryer, only a ‘spinner,’” she continues.
“Spinners discharge the water they pull out of the laundry directly on to the floor.
The washing machines are ancient — but they do work.”
But the workers soldier on. All bed linens are washed once a week.
All the children’s clothing is washed here, too.
We’re hoping we can give them a huge, heavy-duty commercial dryer sometime this year.
It would dramatically improve the lives of these workers as they care for the children.
There’s a pretty impressive library, too, full of donated books.
And the school brings in artists to give talks and demonstrations.
children are medically fragile, and far from home; but thanks to the dedicated
workers in this place,
the children are receiving benefits they might never experience in their own towns and villages.
More adventures to come!
Thanks for journeying with us!
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