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

Greetings!
 
  • 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
 
____________________

You’re family now!

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Super-fun photos from the “Children’s Village” for orphans …

Friends of New Thing provided “Life Starter Kits” for the graduates aging out …
Kristina visited this week to give them the news — and also to deliver an AWESOME SURPRISE.
I think you’ll smile!
I suggest you widen your browser to the max to enjoy the photos fully.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

You’re invited

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Hi!
I hope you’re enjoying the photos from our adventures in the former USSR!
Now I’d like to put YOU in the picture.
Would you please make a tax-deductible donation, if you haven’t already, to help our work continue?

We’re helping a lot of folks (in Belarus, a place most Americans never pay any attention to):

  • abused and abandoned children
  • children in foster care
  • the homeless
  • the disabled
  • the elderly
  • hospital patients
But to keep going, we need the support of friends like you.
Please give whatever you can, online, right here.
If you prefer, mail a check to New Thing, 403 Linebrook Rd., Ipswich MA 01938.
If you want to give monthly, we’d love it.
You can do that online, right here.
Or arrange with your bank to send a donation automatically every month.
100% of your giving will go into Belarus.
We’re all-volunteer on the U.S. side.
Whatever you can do, I’ll be grateful.
But even more importantly, someone in Belarus — a child, a disabled person, a sick person, an old person —
Someone in need will realize, maybe for the first time ever, that they’re valuable, and God loves them.
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

Update on the orphans…

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Igor, Roman, Naim, Valery, Galina, Maxim, Alexander, Daniel, Anastasia K., Anastasia M., and Natalia are hoping for the best.
We want to send off each of these graduating orphans with a “Life Starter Kit” — comforts of home that they won’t be able to take with them:
A blanket, a pillow, and bed linens, pots and pans, and if we can, an iron and a tea kettle.

(Here’s my full photo report on the orphans, from a few days ago.)

At this writing, 17 households have responded with generous gifts of support.
Would you also be able to help?

Your gift of $54.59 today provides a blanket, a pillow, and bed linens for one orphan.

Your gift of $91.69 today enables us to include pots and pans.

If we receive more than the total we need for all 11 orphans, we’ll include irons and tea kettles too.

If there’s still a surplus, we’ll give Life Starter Kits to 5 other orphans who aren’t aging out but will also be leaving the Children’s Village (switching schools, etc.).

God bless you for any gift of compassion you can give today!
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

The orphans are leaving…

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  • The dog is yipping. (Is Andrei teasing him again?)
  • The cat is lounging in the window; all this noise is annoying her.
  • Somewhere upstairs, little kids are jumping on a bed.
  • Masha is in bed with a bit of a fever.
  • Tanya (just learning to read) is making her way through the Russian-language version of Dick and Jane.
It’s home! Except that it’s not. Not exactly.
This is the “Children’s Village,” a collection of beautiful residences for orphans in the town of Kobryn, Belarus, in the former USSR.
Devoted house-parents provide a real home for these children.
Some of the kids have lived here virtually their entire lives.
But the biggest kids — turning 18 this year — will have to leave this spring.
They’ve “aged out” of the foster system.
They’ll leave behind perhaps the only mom or dad they’ve ever known.
Some will leave behind their own younger siblings.
Most will go to a dorm-type setting, where they’ll have to fend for themselves.
They’ll need a pillow, and bed linens, and a pot and pan so they can cook for themselves.
Just like in the U.S., when teens age out of the foster system, many Belarusian orphans get into trouble.
Leaving with nothing, they descend into crime, drugs, prostitution, violence, anything to survive.
But we have the privilege of preventing such tragedies, by providing a “Life Starter Kit” for each graduating orphan.
* 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.
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.
If you’d like to meet the orphans and their families, here are some photos.
(I suggest you widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.)
God bless you for any gift of compassion you can give today!
Thanks for journeying with us!
Much love,
Doug Brendel

A volunteer opportunity with New Thing?

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• Maybe you appreciate New Thing’s work of compassion among the needy ones of the former USSR.

• Maybe you’d like to help more, but not necessarily by giving more money.

• Maybe you have a little time available, and some enthusiasm, and you can imagine talking to people about our work in Belarus.

Then maybe I have a volunteer opportunity for you!
One of the best ways we’ve found to get more folks looking at New Thing photo reports is for me to talk to groups:
churches and groups within churches, Rotary and Lions and other service clubs, cultural groups, and others.
The key is to get someone from a group to invite me.
I’m hoping to find someone willing to volunteer a few hours per month to
(a) contact groups,
(b) briefly introduce New Thing (I can provide simple talking-points), and
(c) ask if the key contact person in the group would be willing to have a conversation with Doug about the possibility of speaking to their group.
We could discuss which groups to reach out to, and how (phone? email? other?).
If this seems like a project you might be interested in trying, I’d love to hear from you!
Would you please email me directly here?
Your inquiring about this does NOT obligate to anything; let’s just talk about it.
(And no, you don’t have to live here in New England to volunteer this way!)
Thanks!
Much love,
Doug Brendel