Thrown-away children

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The children are beautiful at Rudensk.
130 orphans with mental disabilities.
Each one either abandoned or abused by their parents.
They live at the Rudensk boarding school year-round.
You can meet them in my photo report, here.
I think these children will make you smile like they made me smile.
And I hope you can help them.
Crazy as it may sound, they need chairs.
They have a big auditorium where they put on concerts, plays, and other events, just like the kids in any school.
But the chairs are literally falling apart.
(If you take a look at my photo report, you’ll see how the staff have done their best to keep them cobbled together and looking nice.)
Here’s why this is so important:
When you put a mentally disabled child onstage, to sing or recite or dance or play a part, they grow.
It’s an experience that speaks to them. It says,
“You’re not ’slow.’ You’re not inferior. You’re good. You’re great.”
This is a message these kids really need to hear.
I want them to be able to look out at their audience, seated in sturdy new chairs, and see your love.
A beautiful brand-new auditorium chair costs $65.
Or give a smaller gift, and I’ll combine your gift with someone else’s to provide 1 chair.
I’m hoping our New Thing family can provide 30 chairs, a total of $1,950.
So anything you can give today will be a real help.
Thanks for journeying with us!
More photos to come.
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Stunned and grateful

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I was stunned to receive a message from the chargé d’affaires for the Republic of Belarus in Washington D.C. (standing in for the Belarusian Ambassador to the U.S.).
He was inviting me to meet with him and the Consul General of Belarus at the Belarusian consulate in New York City.
Reason: The government of Belarus was bestowing a major award on New Thing after our 15 years of service to the people of their country: the Certificate of Honor of the Administration of Presidential Affairs of the Republic of Belarus — “For the significant contribution to the development of humanitarian cooperation and implementation of social projects in the Republic of Belarus.”
I cannot put into words what an honor it was for New Thing to receive such recognition, and I could only accept this award on your behalf….
Friends like you, after all, have made New Thing’s work in Belarus possible.
The generosity of caring people have provided food, clothing, medicine, medical equipment, furniture, and much more.
You’ve opened or built or remodeled facilities for the care of orphans and abused children and the sick and the homeless.
You’ve loved people in need, people you’ll probably never meet in this life, simply because you had the opportunity.
I am grateful to be a part of this work alongside you. I’ll leave for Minsk again this Saturday, and I hope you will go with me in spirit.
Much love,
Doug Brendel
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