The orphans are leaving…

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  • The dog is yipping. (Is Andrei teasing him again?)
  • The cat is lounging in the window; all this noise is annoying her.
  • Somewhere upstairs, little kids are jumping on a bed.
  • Masha is in bed with a bit of a fever.
  • Tanya (just learning to read) is making her way through the Russian-language version of Dick and Jane.
It’s home! Except that it’s not. Not exactly.
This is the “Children’s Village,” a collection of beautiful residences for orphans in the town of Kobryn, Belarus, in the former USSR.
Devoted house-parents provide a real home for these children.
Some of the kids have lived here virtually their entire lives.
But the biggest kids — turning 18 this year — will have to leave this spring.
They’ve “aged out” of the foster system.
They’ll leave behind perhaps the only mom or dad they’ve ever known.
Some will leave behind their own younger siblings.
Most will go to a dorm-type setting, where they’ll have to fend for themselves.
They’ll need a pillow, and bed linens, and a pot and pan so they can cook for themselves.
Just like in the U.S., when teens age out of the foster system, many Belarusian orphans get into trouble.
Leaving with nothing, they descend into crime, drugs, prostitution, violence, anything to survive.
But we have the privilege of preventing such tragedies, by providing a “Life Starter Kit” for each graduating orphan.
* A gift from you of $54.59 will provide a blanket, a pillow, and bed linens for one orphan.
* A gift of $91.69 will provide all that plus pots and pans.
If we receive more than the total we need, we’ll provide irons and tea kettles, too.
Whatever you can do immediately will be a real help.
If you’d like to meet the orphans and their families, here are some photos.
(I suggest you widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.)
God bless you for any gift of compassion you can give today!
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

A volunteer opportunity with New Thing?

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• Maybe you appreciate New Thing’s work of compassion among the needy ones of the former USSR.

• Maybe you’d like to help more, but not necessarily by giving more money.

• Maybe you have a little time available, and some enthusiasm, and you can imagine talking to people about our work in Belarus.

Then maybe I have a volunteer opportunity for you!
One of the best ways we’ve found to get more folks looking at New Thing photo reports is for me to talk to groups:
churches and groups within churches, Rotary and Lions and other service clubs, cultural groups, and others.
The key is to get someone from a group to invite me.
I’m hoping to find someone willing to volunteer a few hours per month to
(a) contact groups,
(b) briefly introduce New Thing (I can provide simple talking-points), and
(c) ask if the key contact person in the group would be willing to have a conversation with Doug about the possibility of speaking to their group.
We could discuss which groups to reach out to, and how (phone? email? other?).
If this seems like a project you might be interested in trying, I’d love to hear from you!
Would you please email me directly here?
Your inquiring about this does NOT obligate to anything; let’s just talk about it.
(And no, you don’t have to live here in New England to volunteer this way!)
Thanks!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

All better now!

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Remember the hospital I told you about last summer?
The one with the crummy homemade shower and the nailed-together cribs for babies?
All better now!… thanks to generous friends of New Thing!
Here are a few photos from the grateful doctors and nurses at Volozhin.
 
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

If you made any of these…

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Happy New Year!

If you made New Year’s resolutions a year ago…
  1. If you resolved to get as close as possible to $9 R.O.I. on every $1 you contributed to compassionate outreaches…
  2. If you resolved to send at least half a million pounds of practical aid to people in need…
  3. If you resolved to help at least 2,500 needy families face-to-face…
  4. If you resolved to offer a healthy lunch to more than 100 homeless and poor every single day…
Then maybe you not only fulfilled your New Year’s resolutions — maybe you EXCEEDED them.
Everyone who supported New Thing in 2018 did all of that, and more, in the former USSR.
You also had a part in all this:
  • You gave “Life Starter Kits” to graduating orphans at Kobryn, Belarus.
  • You provided a commercial dryer for care of hundreds of children at risk of tuberculosis in Old Borisov.
  • You gave big, fluffy bath towels to speech-impaired children at Novogrudok.
  • You sent disabled children and their families from Dzerzhinsk to summer camp — and to the circus
  • You delivered, to children in various institutions, countless gift boxes donated by various groups in other countries.
  • You provided legal and medical help to homeless folks in Minsk.
  • You funded a new shower as well as cribs, mattresses, high chairs, and dining room tables and chairs for the hospital at Volozhin.
  • You provided a whole year’s worth of basic medications and medical supplies for care of disabled children at Osipovichi.
  • You gave inhalers and other medical equipment to workers at Uzda so they could care for immune-compromised children.
And the list goes on.
I can’t thank you enough.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
You’ve succeeded.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Now they can breathe!

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Kids with breathing problems and other issues needed new medical equipment.

Friends of New Thing gave generously to provide it.

I met the kids in person recently, and now you can too!
I think you’ll be delighted by these children!
Definitely widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.
Thank you to all who have followed New Thing in 2018.
Happy New Year!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

“Bums” are people too

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Not pretty. Not “successful.” Not up to hardly anyone’s standards.

But I love them.

Wanna see?

Here are a few photos of New Thing’s work with the homeless and poor in Minsk.

I think they’re appropriate for Christmas Eve, since Jesus started out homeless and poor, too.

Thanks for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel