New Thing 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 New Thing 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. Every day, we have the privilege of caring for them.

 

Our team provides a nutritious hot lunch for as many as 140 hungry people a day, in part of an old kindergarten building we rent from the state.

 

“The Great Kozovaya” leads our “Response of the Heart” team. (We call her that as a joke — because she’s so humble!)

She and our team 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 donated from other countries.

Our team has turned it into sort of a “boutique” for the homeless and poor!

 

Lives actually change here. 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 maintain such a spirit of thanksgiving.

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!

Much love,

Doug Brendel

 

 

Photos by Oleg Yarovenko

 

To give online — click here

To send a check by snail mail — New Thing, 403 Linebrook Road, Ipswich MA 01938

Thanks again!