Launch the orphans!

God bless the 13 generous friends who gave to provide “Life Starter Kits” for this year’s crop of graduating orphans at the “children’s village” in Kobryn, Belarus!
Thanks to you, we made the goal — and each one of these young people will be equipped to face the world after they “age out” of the foster system this spring.
On their behalf, I am grateful!
More adventures to come!
Thanks for journeying with us.
Much love,
Doug Brendel

What next for them?

Graduation Day is coming. But for 5 of these orphans, it won’t be a day for celebrating.

They’ll be “aging out” of the “children’s village” where they’ve lived most of their lives, at Kobryn, in Belarus.
Each of them 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.
But on Graduation Day, they’ll leave the children’s village with nothing — unless they have help.
Last year at graduation time, generous friends of New Thing helped 9 orphans who “aged out.”
I’ve told the workers at Kobryn that I think we can help again.
* 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.
We need a total of $458.45 for all 5 orphans.
Plus, I hope we can help the other 6 pictured here, who are finishing 9th grade but will move to high schools in other parts of the country,
possibly where there’s no “children’s village” to care for them.
Whatever you give today will make a real difference.
Please think about it, and give as generously as you can.
Maybe you remember my telling you about one of my interpreters who grew up in an orphanage and had to leave when she aged out.
She had nothing to cook with, no blanket or pillow.
She cried because she didn’t know how she was going to make it.
By God’s grace, someone helped her. Today she’s a successful adult.
But many Belarusian orphans crash.
They leave “the system” with nothing, and they wind up involved in crime, drugs, prostitution, violence, anything to survive.
God help it not to happen to these kids.
Especially after the workers at the “children’s village” have cared for them for years, giving them a warm family environment to grow up in.
For the sake of Alisa, Anastasia, Sergei, Vanya, another Anastasia, Daniel, Diana, Kristina, Vladik, Margarita, and Kirill,
please help now if you can. We need the money now to have “Life Starter Kits” ready for the kids on Graduation Day.
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

Come with me

Doug with boy

I leave for Belarus this Friday.
Of course as always, I’ll send you photo reports of the good work you’re making possible there.
But don’t keep the adventure to yourself!
Share with someone!
Post to your social media.
Invite your friends and family to come along.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

This is going to be a terrific surprise!


Hello again!

I’m so happy to report that friends gave generously to New Thing in honor of The Great Kozovaya’s upcoming 70th birthday….
So the mentally disabled children of Molotkovichi will receive all the laundry equipment and appliances they need. (The little ones will get toys, too!)
I’ll give Kozovaya the news at her 70th birthday party on the 25th.
She will be delighted!
So will the 177 children (including 71 orphans) — and the workers who care for them day and night.
Thank you to all who gave to make this birthday surprise possible. I am grateful.
And of course I’ll send photos from the birthday celebration.
(If you’d like to help other children and workers in the former Soviet Union, please use the links below to make your donation.
You’ll make a beautiful impact!)
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

A gift for the one who gives everything

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I hope you recognize this woman: We call her “The Great Kozovaya.”
It’s a joke — because she’s the humblest person on earth. (But she makes things happen!)
She runs our entire “Response of the Heart” operation in Belarus.
She works tirelessly, and with endless cheer.

And on the last Sunday of this month, she’s going to turn 70.

How can we thank her?

She doesn’t want anything for herself. She never does.

But for the past 2 years, she’s been bugging me about the children at Molotkovichi. (Say mah-lot-KOH-vee-chee.)

Here, in the south of Belarus, almost to the Ukrainian border, is a boarding school.
177 children with mental disabilities live here, including 71 orphans.
They play, they work, they practice doing basic chores, so someday they’ll have some hope of living independently.
They need to learn to do laundry — but the boarding school is short of appliances.
They dry their clothes on the radiator, and use the top of a cabinet as an ironing board.
The director has asked Kozovaya if “Response of the Heart” could please provide irons and ironing boards, a vacuum cleaner, a small washer and dryer, and other basics.
Oh, and for the littlest children (some as young as 7), some toys.
The total need is $1,592.48.
I would love to show up at The Great Kozovaya’s 70th birthday party on February 25th and say,
“Guess what friends of New Thing got you for your birthday!
Could you please consider giving some small portion of the total needed?
Or maybe that’s too much, I don’t know.
On the other hand, maybe you could be 1 of 10 to give $159.25.
But whatever you can give today, large or small, will be a real help.
And of course, if by some miracle there’s money left over, it will still totally go into Belarus to care for people in need.
We’re 100% volunteer here in the U.S., so not one penny of your donation will be used for anything here.
Thanks in advance for helping disabled children — while we celebrate The Great Kozovaya!
Much love,
Doug Brendel


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Children exposed to tuberculosis in Belarus … but happy?

I think you’ll like these kids.
Check out a brief photo report from a 1,000-year-old town, here.
Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel