Homeless, poor – but LOVED

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I’m smiling!

I’ve been to our soup kitchen for the homeless and poor, in Minsk.
Here are a few photos.
They please me very much.
(Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.)
I am grateful to everyone who gives to New Thing and helps us do this good work!
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Launched with love!

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Greetings from Belarus….

10 orphans are very, very happy today!

I’ve delivered the “college starter kits” provided through the generosity of friends like you!
Here’s a photo report (plus a lot of laughs in a brief video).
Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.
You’ll also meet little David (in the photo) and some other lovely kids.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

I am grateful

Kobryn

I am truly grateful for everyone who gave so generously to help us meet the need of children who must graduate from the foster system at Kobryn, Belarus.

Thanks to your compassionate response, we’ll be able to provide essentials for all of these young people, and launch them into adulthood.
I will leave for Belarus soon to visit the children before Graduation Day and give them the good news about your gifts!
Photos to come!
Thanks again for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

9 kids in trouble

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These 9 orphans will leave the Kobryn, Belarus “children’s village” in days — they can’t stay, they’ve “aged out.”
They’ll leave with nothing — or we can help them.
Most will go to a dormitory-type setting, where they’ll have to fend for themselves.
It’s not like the U.S.
They’ll need bed linens, a pot and pan so they can cook for themselves, the basic necessities.
One of my interpreters remembers leaving the orphanage where she had spent virtually her whole life.
In the dorm, she had nothing to cook with, no blanket or pillow.
She wept tears of grief and terror.
By God’s grace, someone helped her. Today she’s a successful adult.
But many Belarusian orphans spin out.
They leave “the system” with nothing, and they descend into crime, drugs, prostitution, violence, anything to survive.
I don’t want to see that happen to these kids.
Especially after the workers at the “Children’s Village” at Kobryn have devoted years to caring for them, giving them a warm family environment to grow up in.
We need a total of $825.21 right away.
* 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.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Heading out!

Lydia-Alina

My daughter Lydia Charlotte is giving up her spring break to go to Belarus with me.

We’ll leave on the 14th of April.
Lydia Charlotte, now 15, has been visiting Belarus since she was 7 months old; this will be her 18th trip.
(She has been designated as an “ambassador to Belarus” by the Director of the Belarusian Dept. of Humanitarian Affairs.)
  • She’ll visit her godmother Lydia Danielevna (second in command with our “Response of the Heart” team).
  • She also hopes to visit her childhood friend Alina, whom she first played with a decade ago (that’s them in the photo) when Alina was at the Zhodino shelter for abused and abandoned children. (Today, Alina is a successful young woman, a testament to the beautiful value of your support for New Thing.)
  • We’ll visit our soup kitchen for the homeless — especially our friend Valentina, who carries a collection of Lydia Charlotte’s school photos from over the years.
  • And Lydia will present “an evening of music and laughter” as a gift to a number of our longtime friends.
Of course I’ll bring you all of these adventures in photo and video reports.
Lydia Charlotte’s air fare has been covered by a friend, but if you’d like to be part of this unusual journey personally, we still need support to provide care for children and adults in need all over Belarus — so please feel free to make a donation to New Thing before our departure.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

She stepped in…

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Greetings to all who follow or support New Thing’s work of compassion in the former USSR.

We’ve lost a good friend.
Years ago, a business owner in the Southeast learned about New Thing and committed to supporting the work every month.
When the crash of 2008 decimated her business, she reluctantly decreased the amount of her monthly gift….
But her aged mother, Alice, wasn’t willing to settle for such a defeat.
Even on her limited income, she determined to step in and make up the difference.
Every month, without fail, Alice sent $50 to help New Thing care for children and adults in need in Belarus.
I just got word that Alice has slipped away.
Her record of faithfulness was flawless to end.
I want to honor Alice’s memory in an appropriate way.
I think it would please her to know that others have picked up where she left off.
To sustain the chain of compassion that she was so determined to keep alive.
Maybe you would like to be part of this.
It’s possible that you’ve thought about making a commitment to monthly support of New Thing.
Now would be a great time.
$50 a month is a very big deal in Belarus.
A gift of $15 or $20 a month would make a real difference.
You’ll bless orphans, abused and abandoned children, the sick, the homeless, the elderly, the disabled, children and adults behind bars, and others in need.
We’re 100% on the U.S. side, so every penny you give to New Thing will go into Belarus.
Or you could arrange for your bank to send a monthly check.
Either way, I am grateful for your willingness to consider it.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Your love, by the numbers…

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I’ve just received the annual report from our “Response of the Heart” team in Minsk, detailing the work that friends like you accomplished in 2016.

To be honest, before I even got to the end of it, I was having trouble reading because of the tears in my eyes.

Thanks to generous friends of New Thing providing 100% of the funding for the entire operation in Belarus, our “Response of the Heart” team brought in humanitarian aid with a total value of $887,660: clothes, shoes, food, hygiene items, furniture and other household furnishings, appliances, new medical devices, medical equipment and medical supplies, building materials, sanitary ware, sports equipment, toys, and more.
They received and processed a new load of aid on an average of every 15 days — a total of just under 450,000 pounds (225 tons) — from the U.S., Germany, Ireland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
This year for the first time we also began bringing in donated brand-new medical equipment: $625,481 worth, for use in intensive care and surgical departments.

Overall, you helped 5,100 families directly, plus thousands of others — the poor, the disabled, the aged, abused children, orphans, foster families, veterans, and more — through the institutions and groups that received aid from “Response of the Heart.”
And you provided a hot meal every day for up to 115 homeless people at our new “soup kitchen” in Minsk — plus another 12 bedridden homeless who can’t make it to our facility.
Through it all, as always, our work on the U.S. side has been 100% volunteer, so every penny given to New Thing has gone into Belarus.
You have made God’s love clear to so many in my adopted homeland. I can’t begin to express my gratitude.
Thank you, from my heart, for journeying with us.
Much love,
Doug Brendel