Spring of Revival began in 2001 as a fulfillment of a vision God planted in the heart of Olga Goncharenko. At that time she was an interpreter for short-term missions teams serving in Russia, which borders her native country of Belarus. Since then Spring of Revival has been ministering to the children of Belarus, orphans in particular. This takes place through humanitarian aid, fostering relationships with young people and their counselors.
The goal in all these programs and relationships is for God to be gloried through sharing the gospel and discipling believers.
Spring of Revival is registered in Minsk, Belarus and run by Belarusian nationals. The ministry works with several Belarusian churches whose leaders help the programs. Oversight is provided by a local board of directors and further counsel is available through Stoneworks International and other American advocates. It is supported by individuals and churches across the U.S. through prayer, monetary donations, and participation in short term missions.
At left are the staff: Alesha Kulyeshova, ministry assistant; Masha Goncharenko, Accountant; Olga Gonacharenko, President. Besides having their respective assignments, each of these women is active in the day to day ministry with the children. Spring of Revival and Stoneworks are affiliates, meaning they have a special relationship of cooperation in ministry, while retaining their own legal identities in their respective countries of the United States and Belarus.
Minsk Family Home
Too many in the world have little reason to hope for the many blessings others enjoy, such as peace, safety, health and sufficient food. Often there is limited political freedom and limited hope for economic advancement.
Orphans in Belarus lack many of these blessings. They enjoy little hope of having a family, receiving an education, having decent housing or entering a profession. If there is no hope for these, then why try at all?
The Minsk Family Home, a residential program for graduate orphans, gives another message — one filled with hope, starting with the message of salvation. Click here to learn more –
There remain many children in orphanages in Belarus. A large percentage of them are what are called “social” orphans, in that their parents are alive but unable to care for them. Many orphanages have very good intentions and goals for the children, but of course the children suffer by definition from a lack of parenting. The orphanages are often under funded, meaning they are short staffed and short supplied. The children therefore can become depressed and fail to thrive as they might otherwise. SOR attempts to help these children in any way possible. This includes coming along side of and supporting staff, providing programs for the children, establishing nurturing relationships with children, and – as possible – telling the children about God’s love for them.
As funds are available, SOR is able to distribute humanitarian aid to orphanages. A notable example is providing pigs for an orphanage. The piglets are cared for by the kids, giving these orphans opportunity for learning animal husbandry. When the pigs are old enough they are sold for income or butchered for use by the orphanage. In this way they appreciate in value even as they provide experience for the kids. Additional opportunities for giving humanitarian aid abound, and are only limited by funds available. Specific opportunities are for school supplies, text books, program supplies, clothing, medicine.
An important part of the SOR ministry is team visits to camps during the summer and orphanages in winter. The teams are comprised of Belarusians, Americans or a combination of the two, depending on the time of year and circumstances. SOR is the local organization which establishes relationships with both the ministry sites and the teams. As such they do all the coordination. This includes the official role of obtaining letters of invitation and registering foreigners. They also hire interpreters, locate ministry sites, and arrange for lodging, meals and transportation. SOR is hopeful that more teams will want to come from the U.S. in the future. We invite you to pray that obstacles to the issuing of visas will diminish and in time disappear.
During the summer most children in orphanages go to camps for both sports exercise and relaxation. The camps are very similar to U.S. camps in that the housing is in dorms or cabins. Activities include sports, music performances, arts and crafts. Camp directors and staff are usually thankful for a team of Belarusian or foreign volunteers to come along side them to care for the children. Often foreign teams bring coveted sports and other supplies. Foreign teams also bring knowledge of their cultures, which sets the stage for cultural exchange and an increased sense of oneness among citizens of different countries. Each team that comes assumes its own identity based on the gifts and experiences of the team members. Each member is expected to have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. It is in the context of this relationship and personal relationships with campers that the gospel is shared.
Contact us if you would like to have someone talk to you about sending a team.