Greetings dear friends,
Thank you so very much for your tremendous input in our ministry. Because of you we are able to carry on our mission and bring a difference to many lives in Belarus!
In October we made 7 shelter visits ( with toilet papers, cleaning supplies,food, etc,2 orphanage visits, ministered to 50 kids and 10 teachers in school in Zhitkovichi area twice, visited and helped 50 families with food bags, held 6 Bible studies, 5 cooking classes, 4 visits and help to foster families, a big day out (bus tour) and pizza party for 50 orphans and a couple of volunteers’ meetings.
No words will describe the joy and peace in the eyes of a little orphan child hugged by a young girl from the Family Home, who was an orphan as well and knows exactly how the other kids feel. Or tears in the eyes of a single mom, who receives so needed food basket for her kids. Climbing on the Hill of glory with a bunch of orphan teenagers, who all want to take a selfie with me. Every day is full of thankfulness to Our Father and a lot of thoughts and ideas for future.
Here you can read about some of our visits, written by my wonderful team and Family home youth.
Visit to Zhitkovichi
The early day began on the road for hundreds of kilometers to the school that has become dear to us with such dear children’s faces. This time we wanted to have more time with the teachers, because the Teacher’s Day was approaching! We picked clean the flower beds of the members of our team and we were able to hold a wonderful master class, Autumn Bouquet, for teachers. How cool, when the team has creative people who have golden hands!!! The teachers were delighted! They not only learned how to make and decorate bouquets with their own hands, but they also managed to make gifts for themselves for the holiday! Everyone left with an original bouquet!!! Children were not bored during this time as they listened stories and talked with us. We started the autumn masterclass where the children learned how to make maple leaves with the origami technique. The whole class was full of colorful autumnal foliage. These children decorated cards with these leaves. With great joy, the students congratulated their teachers, giving them warm words and their crafts. It turned out to be a real celebration!!!
The second day and again on the road, but this time it seems quite close. Children with joy met us with hugs at the local orphanage. We went to a spacious culinary classroom with some of the children to prepare apple puffs (originally tested this recipe in our warm home! They were delicious!) We talked with some of the other children, while the others cooked. Orphaned children rarely have the opportunity to talk about life and urgent problems with adults, because most often the relationship in boarding schools teacher-student does not give such an opportunity, and other adults in their lives simply do not take time with them. We use every minute of communication to inspire them and adjust to a positive future. Next, the chess tournament Alas! We lost! The guys really enjoyed making puff pastries, everyone was eagerly waiting for the preparations, and greeted the treats with applause. In a friendly atmosphere, fellowship took place, the children opened up in an informal atmosphere, telling about their lives. Teachers asked us to do such meetings more often. And this means, very soon, we will again be on the road to visit them.
New girls began to live with us in September. We very quickly found a common language and made friends. To further strengthen our relationship, we read the Bible together, fellowship, and each of us thanks God for the good that He has done for us. One of our favorite activities together is cooking. We really enjoy having cooking classes and competitions on the best meal between us. It will really help us in our grown up lives.
We also serve together, we went to a single family to clean up, because she was placed in a particularly dangerous situation and the children could have been take to the orphanage. There are 3 children, the oldest is in 2nd grade. We met with these children, they were very open and also helped us in cleaning! The next day social services came to check on the family and were surprised to see a huge difference!
We also gathered young people and went to the orphanage to serve, it was wonderful when the young people are serving, not sitting on the couch and watching tv series. Thus we rally even more! We also have entertaining activities: a dinner party, going to the theater, meeting with guests!
Another long-awaited trip to the orphanage of the Minsk region in Zhdanovichi! Our cohesive team went to give to children joy! I want to draw your attention to the fact that the children waited and greeted us with joy. We have prepared an “Autumn” program for our little friends. So autumn is harvesting, we talked about what a harvest is. The children, interrupting each other, gave examples of the harvest. When the examples ended, we moved on to a game in which the participants had to guess what kind of fruit or vegetable they were offered by the volunteers to try. The most interesting thing is that they guessed with closed eyes. To get closer to the children, we changed roles. In this case, the children gave us samples of food. After that, we played a game about the recognition of fruits and vegetables. There were two teams in each of which our volunteers played. During the game, the children’s confidence in their grown-up comrades was felt. Without losing a minute we began to make crafts “Merry sandwiches”. Everything passed in a friendly and warm atmosphere. Children shared their stories with volunteers. We, in our turn, tried to pay attention to each child. And at the end of our visit , we, of course, wanted to give gifts to children. We distributed the presents in a playful form. Children guessed riddles and received prizes . We were happy to give them our attention and spend time with benefit. Our next trip won’t keep you waiting!
A bus full of young people on the road singing songs and enjoying conversation is the best! Recently, we took a short excursion to the Mount of Glory and Khatyn and enjoyed a pizza party. The youth had a great time together and we are encouraged as we see them grow in their relationships with one another.
On October 22nd, a group of volunteers held a Sunday school for children from foster families in the town of Treskovschina. The lesson was “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Before the beginning of the lesson, we introduced children to the games “Affectionate Name”, “Compliments”, and “Tower of Love”. During the games, the children learned to address each other with gentle, affectionate words, expressing feelings of love and respect.
After the games, adults and children began to prepare for the theatrical scene, “The Case in the Garden”. Together we drew masks of vegetables: cucumber, tomato, onions, turnips. Children were passionately distributing roles and choosing costumes for the characters.
All the boys and girls watched with interest the behavior of the protagonists of the scene and applauded the young artists amicably. The plot was based on the communication of vegetables with a proud, wayward turnip that could not and did not want to communicate, and dreamed of living alone.
After the presentation, Antoninus, based on the verse from the Bible, told the children about pride, and also explained the notion of humility and grace in the life of every person.
The meeting with the volunteers ended with friendship dances, a tea party with delicious pies and donuts prepared by Nina Semenovna, the foster mother.
We believe that after this lesson, a piece of love and respect for adults and each other will remain in the hearts of children.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Yasha and Olga Goncharenko