Happy Birthday to “The Great Kozovaya”!


Today is the birthday of the woman we call “The Great Kozovaya.”
Liudmila Kozovaya is 66 today. She could be retired, living on a pension.
But she is giving her life to care for the needy ones of her country.

She leads our “Response of the Heart” team in Minsk.
It’s difficult, often tedious work.
But she is unfailingly cheerful.

Over the past year, Kozovaya’s leadership enabled you to make a beautiful impact in Belarus:

  • You provided classroom equipment for 113 children with severe speech disorders in the specialized orphanage at Novogrudok.
  • You supported Pastor Sasha’s daily feeding program for the homeless of Minsk.
  • You built a children’s educational kitchen in the “Domik” after-school center at the children’s shelter in Zhodino.
  • You provided magnifying equipment for nearly 100 visually impaired children at the boarding school in Molodzyechna.
  • You replaced an aged warehouse with 2 brand-new shipping containers which are serving beautifully.
  • And you gave a foster family 2 gifts they were giddy with joy over: a lawnmower … and a ping pong table!

You also gave Kozovaya a wonderful surprise birthday gift last year: providing 3 commercial freezers for a boarding school for children with respiratory ailments at Bogushevsk. (That was fun! Here’s the photo report from that day.)

Today, I’d like you to help me give The Great Kozovaya another great birthday present.
In her hometown, there’s a shelter for abused and abandoned children.
Kristina visited it last month. (Here’s that photo report.)
The director, Natalia, is doing her best. But in such a primitive building, they could really use a TV set.
And a shoe dryer. Even a built-in closet would be a tremendous improvement.

I’d like to present all three to the shelter as a gift honoring The Great Kozovaya’s 66th birthday.
It will take a total of $1,520.
Please consider what part you could play … Maybe be 1 of 10 friends giving $152. Or 1 of 20 friends giving $76.
Whatever you give today, Tuesday, we’ll apply toward Kozovaya’s birthday gift to the shelter in her hometown.

And you know what? She will giggle with delight. Because that’s just how she is.
I hope to hear from you today.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

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Thanks again!

Good news for children with scoliosis!


I’m delighted to report that New Thing has received $1,200 from the Special Grants Committee of First Church in Wenham, Massachusetts, toward purchase of new “bed desks” for children with scoliosis and bone problems at the boarding school in Molodzyechna, Belarus.

We’ve been at the school a couple times, and you may remember this photo report.
Thanks to First Church in Wenham, and thanks to all who so generously support our work of compassion in the former USSR.
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Cold out? Thank you for the heat!


It’s cold outside, across most of the U.S. and Europe … but most of us have adequate heat in our homes.

The Trifinov family, caring for 11 children in the Belarusian foster system, had no way to keep the bitter winter cold out of their top-floor bedrooms.
But when Kristina visited them last month, she was able to place an order immediately for a portable heat pump.
We got a thank-you message from the family this week: They’re toasty warm!
If you’ve given to New Thing — anything from $20 to $5,020 — you had a part in this wonderful gift.
By supporting New Thing even when we’re not working on a special project, you make it possible for us to respond to immediate needs immediately.
So the Trifinov family’s thank-you is really for YOU!
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel