I just want to hug every one of these cool kids!

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

Here’s just a brief, fun report from the boarding school New Thing has helped in Zelva, Belarus, near the Polish border. 

I really think you can enjoy the photos more fully if you widen your Web browser to the max. 

Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,Doug Brendel

P.S. If you ever have any comments, questions, or other feedback about a New Thing photo report, don’t hesitate to email me! Thanks again!


“Listen to this!” the deaf child said

I am really happy to report that 15 friends gave generously to provide audio-assistance equipment for hearing-impaired children at the boarding school in Vitebsk, Belarus.

This means something will happen that has never been possible before: 
An entire classroom of children will be able to “hear” together, instead of just one child at a time!

It’s going to be a beautiful change for the children of Vitebsk, and for the teachers and workers who are giving their lives to teach and care for these kids.

Thank you so much to all who gave to make it happen!
And thanks to all for journeying with us!

Much love,
Doug Brendel
P.S. You can still see cool photos of the kids at Vitebsk here, if you like.

Meet the children

I’d like to introduce you to a few of the hearing-impaired children at Vitebsk.

I think you’ll enjoy these photos!
(Widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.) 

I’m grateful for the 11 friends of New Thing who have responded to help these children “hear” with the aid of a new machine.
But I’m hoping that more of our friends can help in some way. 

I know it’s summertime, and people are busy. But if you’ll take just a moment to meet the children, and respond however you can, I know they’ll be grateful. And so will I! 

Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

What you heard, Sasha didn’t

  • The fireworks crack so loud, you jump.
  • The neighbor’s dog annoys you with his barking.
  • Children laughing and splashing in the pool … you smile.

Sasha can’t hear any of it. He’s deaf.

Sasha lives at a boarding school for hearing-impaired children, in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk, near the Russian border.

But Sasha has hope. A special machine enables Sasha to “hear” the essential audio portions of his studies.

The only problem is, the school can only afford 1 such machine.Sasha has to wait for the machine to be available.Till then, Sasha sits in silence.

If the school had 9 machines, a whole classroom of deaf children could “hear” at the same time.

I hope New Thing can provide $1,463.22 to make it happen. So Sasha can “hear” every day … instead of just on lucky days.

Each of 8 new machines will cost just $182.90. I wonder if 16 friends could give $91.45 each. Or maybe you and two others could give gifts of $60.97 to purchase 1 machine. If that’s not doable, any gift you can possibly give today will be a real help.

Please get back to me ASAP. School starts in 7 weeks. Clearing the funds into Belarus, and ordering and installing the machines, will take time. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Thanks for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel

Shave and a haircut, half a ruble! (Actually, no rubles)

Did you get a “summer cut” from your favorite stylist? Me too!

But haircuts are a luxury for the homeless. 

So our “Response of the Heart” team, in our adopted homeland of Belarus, arranged with local hair stylists to provide free haircuts at our daily “soup kitchen,” in Minsk. 

At first, our homeless friends were a bit reluctant. Especially because they had to start outside, under a garden hose, getting a shampoo! This felt weird … Some of these folks hadn’t had a shampoo in a loooooong time. 

But then the first brave souls headed back inside for their haircuts — and as they emerged, looking beautiful, suddenly the others were good to go! 

By the end of the day, “The Great Kozovaya” reports, the hairdressers were exhausted. But happy! 

I’m sorry our awesome photographer Oleg was unable to be there to shoot photos. But Kozovaya took these pix for you with her tablet. 

We already feed the homeless every day, and connect them to medical, legal, and other urgently needed resources. But haircuts sure seemed like a good summertime idea, don’t you think? 

Thank you to all who give so generously to New Thing, to enable our ministry to the homeless of Minsk,as well as to thousands of orphans, disabled children, foster families, hospital patients, and the list goes on! 

Have a great summer! Thanks for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel


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Subscribe to the New Thing Blog
To send a check: New Thing, 403 Linebrook Rd., Ipswich MA 01938
Thanks again!

For warmth and breath


I am deeply grateful for every friend who gave to help us provide new doors and windows for the children at risk of TB and suffering from respiratory issues at Bogushevsk.

The facility is ancient, and parts of it are freezing; but with your generous help, we’re going to keep the kids warm this coming winter, as they fight for breath and health.

Thanks for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel

Donate online here
Sign up to auto-give monthly
Your Amazon purchase supports New Thing!
Subscribe to the New Thing Blog
To send a check: New Thing, 403 Linebrook Rd., Ipswich MA 01938
Thanks again!

Keep kids warm, let kids breathe

Tuberculosis kills 35 times as many Belarusians as Americans every year.
At greatest risk: children.

In Belarus, children at risk of TB, and children with respiratory problems, go to a boarding school in Bogushevsk.
It’s “home” to 1,000 children a year.
It’s old, with lots of problems. You can see some photos here.
In the wing housing 9th-grade boys, the huge old windows don’t keep the cold out anymore.
And the 4 doors leading to the outside are deteriorating badly.

Kids with breathing problems, or at risk of tuberculosis, shouldn’t be living in the cold.
I hope we can provide new doors and windows now, so they can be installed before Belarus turns cold again.

Each window will cost $238.17, installed.
The exterior double door costs $476.34, installed.
Each of three exterior single doors will cost $238.17.

The total bill is high, I know: $1,905.36.
But if New Thing has 30 friends who can give $63.51 each, the children of Bogushevsk can sleep in warm rooms this winter.

Could you be 1 of the 30? Or give whatever you can.
Any and every gift will help us keep the winter cold out of the children’s rooms, as they fight for breath and life.

Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Two grainy images tell the whole story

  • A mysterious man named Sergei, 32 years old, contacted “The Great Kozovaya,” leader of our “Response of the Heart” team in Minsk.
He had a birthday coming up, and he had decided to celebrate by paying for a delicious lunch for all the homeless and poor at our “soup kitchen.”
We don’t know much about Sergei.
He didn’t want any photos.
“God sees well,” he said.
Then came International Women’s Day, widely celebrated in Belarus.
  • A businessman decided to mark the occasion by providing flowers for all the women at the soup kitchen.
You and I click on 1-800-FLOWERS and send Mom a dozen of something.
For many of these Belarusian women, it was the first time in their entire lives that they had received flowers.
You can see a little, in these two low-quality screen grabs, how precious this moment was.Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 8.02.13 PM.png
  • One homeless woman, seated before her simple lunch (provided by friends like you), handles her flower like a delicate work of art, a thing of wonder.
  • The other draws the petals to her nose, to take in the love. She almost kisses it.
On the one hand, it breaks my heart, to realize what deprivation they have suffered.
On the other hand, it gladdens my heart, to know that they are experiencing God’s love, thanks to you, every single day.
And that people in Minsk are learning of this work, and want to be involved … that’s HUGE.
Thank you for being a part of it. We need you!
More adventures to come….
Much love,
Doug Brendel