A report from Doug Brendel to all who support or follow our New Thing ministry in Belarus...
For the homeless and poor...
Your Compassion Offers Hope
Some are young, but look old.
Some are old, but surprisingly spry.
Men, women, some just children.
Unemployed or “working poor.”
Some homeless only technically — sleeping in others’ homes. Others truly living outdoors.
Collectively, in the Russian language, they’re bomzhi. Yes, here, they’re still called bums.
But every single day, we have the privilege of caring for them.
“Pastor Sasha” has been feeding the homeless of Minsk every day for more than two decades. (You can follow him on Facebook here.)
We had the joy of uniting his work with our “Response of the Heart” team.
Sasha’s team provides a nutritious hot lunch for as many as 150 people a day, in part of an old kindergarten building we rent from the state.
(Most actually arrive early for a Bible study led by Sasha or one of several local ministers.)
“The Great Kozovaya” and our “Response of the Heart” team also help the bomzhi solve government documentation problems, and connect them with medical and legal support.
Valery, the brilliant head chef, works miracles in a tiny, decrepit kitchen.
When Valery set out to grow his own mushrooms, nobody had much faith he could do it...
And certainly nobody thought he’d produce so many kilos so fast!
Our rented space also provides temporary storage for humanitarian aid.
(Distribution awaits state bureaucratic approvals.)
When we arrived for a visit, government inspectors were paying a surprise visit. They were impressed with what’s happening here.
So am I. Lives actually change.
Valentin is one example. He served 15 years for murder.
Today he’s free, in body and spirit, and brimming with optimism.
I’m amazed that many of these folks, even in dire straits, can remain so cheerful.
But a big part of it is knowing that friends like you are standing with them in spirit.
Thank you to all who give so faithfully and generously to New Thing. You’re touching the lives of bomzhi in Minsk!
More adventures to come!
Thanks for journeying with us!
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To send a check by snail mail — New Thing, 403 Linebrook Road, Ipswich MA 01938
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