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...


Tons of JAM? Looks like it’s gonna be a

Sweet Christmas!


Jam for your breakfast bread? Certainly.

But for many in Belarus, jam isn’t a “given.” It’s more of a luxury.


So it might seem a bit funny that our “Response of the Heart” team took delivery of a 47,000-lb. shipment of jam, donated by a group in Italy.

But it won’t be funny to the orphans, the children in shelters or foster homes, children and adults living with disabilities, or dealing with homelessness, or illness.


When they receive this beautiful gift — and just in time for Christmas! — they’ll rejoice.

They’ll know they’re not forgotten. They’ll know they’re loved.


The people caring for them will thank you. And I thank you.

Your support for New Thing empowers our “Response of the Heart” to bring into Belarus hundreds of tons of donated food, goods, medical supplies and equipment, and more every year.


I can’t help thinking about “A-Soulin.’”

It’s one of my Christmas favorites, a Medieval-era folk song, brought back by Peter, Paul, and Mary in the 1960s.

If you’d like to hear them sing it, here’s the link.


Children of that era went door to door begging for “soul cakes,” and maybe a bit of fruit, or even a coin. “An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, any good thing to make us all merry.”

The jam our team received was 4 flavors too: plum, peach, pear, and apricot. Nearly $55,000 worth of jam!


In “A-Soulin’,” the children go on to sing:

“If you haven’t got a penny, A ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you.”

They’d love a whole penny, but a half-penny will be great too.

And if the grownup at the door can’t spare half a penny, then the children offer a blessing: a prayer that God will bless the house...

so maybe they’ll be able to spare half a penny next year.


This is how I often feel, when I talk to people about Belarus.

If you can give, wonderful. If you can’t meet the whole need, anything you can give will help.

And if you can’t give today, I still pray blessings upon you and your household.

As we each do whatever we can, in the moment, needs are met in Belarus ... children are cared for, the sick are healed, the homeless find shelter.

In this season of celebration, next time you spread jam on your bread, or enjoy something sweet,
you’ll have the joy of knowing that many in Belarus are enjoying something sweet too in this Christmas season.

It’s not “just jam” ... It’s love in a jar!


More adventures to come!

Thanks for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel


(Photos by our dear friend Oleg Yarovenko)


To help the people of Belarus by giving to New Thing online — click here

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

Thanks again!