Do me a favor?

I wonder how many people I’ve talked to, over the years, about New Thing’s work in the former USSR.

Thousands, I’m sure. I’ve spoken at churches, Rotary clubs, book clubs, library groups, you name it. People are generally fascinated to learn how the explosion at Chernobyl, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, led to the amazing humanitarian-aid operation that we call New Thing!
I’ve found that this is the single best way to get folks involved. Better than paying for TV spots or magazine ads. Better than renting mailing lists.
People who hear about New Thing first-hand are usually eager to share their email address with me, so they can receive our photo reports, and track with our work in the former Soviet Union. And sometimes, down the road, they decide they want to help.
So I’d like to ask you to consider helping the people of Belarus in an unusual way — by considering one or more of these possibilities:
1. Invite me. 
If you’re part of a group that might enjoy a talk by Doug Brendel about Chernobyl, the old USSR, and New Thing’s work in Belarus, arrange for me to speak there.
It could be your book club or library group, your history club, a cultural or social club of any kind, a Bible study group, a Sunday school class or church.
I can talk for 10 minutes or do Q&A for an hour or anything in between. I can preach a sermon or just hang out over coffee. Whatever’s appropriate to your group.
(I’m absolutely willing to meet with groups that aren’t located in the northeastern U.S., where I live. If I can line up several meetings, it can become cost-effective to travel.)
2. Ask your friends and contacts to invite me.
The simplest way would be to forward this email to them. They can reach out to me directly for more information.
3. Post the jpeg file you see here on your social media streams: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Get the word out that there’s something cool happening in the former Soviet Union, and you’re personally tracking with it!
Whatever you feel comfortable doing, I hope you’ll always feel free to share my contact information with anyone who might be interested in New Thing’s work. You can give people my email address (Doug@NewThing.net is easy to remember) or my phone number: (978) 810-1005.
This is a great way you can contribute to New Thing’s work of compassion without spending any money! Thanks for thinking about it. Let me know if you have any questions. And thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel
4 History shaping ideas

Good news … and circus fun!

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Thanks to everyone who gave to help us meet our Matching Challenge goal!

Now we can provide a big fluffy bath towel for every speech-impaired child at Novogrudok.
They’re going to be so happy!
Now let’s go to the circus!… Here’s a brief photo report that will warm your heart:
We had the privilege of giving disabled children and their families the excursion of a lifetime!
(Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.)
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

When you step out of the shower…

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When you step out of the shower, you reach for the towel, right?
Now imagine — instead of your bath towel, all you find is a thin dish towel, from your kitchen.
Happy? No.
But this is how 118 children are living, in the town of Novogrudok, in Belarus.
They’re speech-impaired children, being cared for in a year-round boarding school.
Their “bath towels” are miserable, thin, old dish-towel-sized rectangles of fabric.
I hope we can fix that.
A friend of mine has offered us a Matching Challenge.
If you give enough for a BIG, FLUFFY bath towel for one of these children, he and his friends will match your gift.
I think you’ll love these kids!
(Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.)
And everything you give will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to the total of the Challenge.
I hope you can help.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Behind the scenes…

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Greetings from New Thing!

This is one of the more unusual messages I’ve ever posted.
I invite you to take 10 minutes for a video about the making of a concert.

Here’s the story….

Our trained vocalist daughter Lydia Charlotte, age 16, has been visiting Belarus with New Thing since she was 7 months old.
This April she gave up her spring break (and many hours of rehearsal time leading up to it) to give the people of Belarus a unique gift:

A concert of classical and show tunes, presented in Minsk, in the beautiful Grand Lobby of the Belarusian State Musical Theatre, the second-largest theatre in the nation.

She rehearsed with world-class accompanist Ivan Kucherenko early in the week.
On Friday evening she hosted a reception for 35 special guests in an upstairs area of the theatre.
Then came the performance.

The video will take you behind the scenes and reveal bits of all 3 aspects of the experience: rehearsal, reception, recital.

This was Lydia Charlotte’s 19th lifetime visit to Belarus.
Our family has been committed to the people of this country for 26 years.
And we are deeply grateful for friends like you, who go with us in spirit.

Together, we’re providing hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid, and much, much more, to tens of thousands of people in need.

We are still 100% volunteer on the U.S. side, so every dollar you donate goes entirely into Belarus.

Thank you for journeying with us!
Much love,

Doug Brendel

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Thanks again!