Greetings our dear friends and partners,
For many people around the world, life has dramatically changed since the Corona virus outbreak. We are not an exception. Although our country never had quarantine or closed our boarders, our ministry changed. It didn’t become less, it became more personal. In order to follow the world recommendations, we do not hold events for big groups of kids and adults, but we switched to one on one, small groups and online ministry. However, due to the situation in our country, we get more and more requests for help daily. Basic–food, soap, masks, antiseptics, and definitely — prayers.
Orphanages and shelters
With the beginning of pandemic I contacted all the shelters and orphanages we work with to encourage them with prayer, and to let them know that we were here for them. Some were surprised as after they limited visitations nobody was interested in providing help without personal programs, while others said that we were the only hope for them. I hardly ever left my home for any reason, except for proving care and help (and get groceries for my kids).Those times of helping people made my days and I was filled to the fullest, realizing that there will always be people, who need my help. And while helping I can share Christ.
I chose for my kids to stay home, to be home-schooled and for our family to have church online.However, kids from the shelters didn’t have such an option and had to continue to go to school.It became obligatory to wear masks and have private antiseptics for each person.Of course, none of the above was provided. We were happy to help. Those things were hard to get, only one bottle at a time in the drug store (we needed many) and the masks were handmade by people in our church. We also got snacks and soap.Two orphanages, two shelters and village school kids were helped immediately as the needs came up (about 220 kids).
Another highlight of May was a special day at the orphanage for haircuts.The kids in this orphanage stayed in for about 2 months as they have school in the same building. It was a big challenge for me to find the barbers who were willing to go out to give kids haircuts. A group of Christian guys not only did a professional job for 31 kids as for the Lord, but also shared their testimonies. Both the kids and the teachers were so blessed and said that we were God’s answer to their need.
Ministry to special needs people
Since we held “Night to shine” our ministry expended to special needs people on a regular basis. First and foremost we support those who are orphans living alone and the ones locked in the institution because of Covid-19. Food packages, diapers, soap, shampoo and other very needed items we delivered to 15 special needs people personally to their homes. What encourages me is that Family home boys and girls are the ones really initiating those visit. I am blessed to see that we taught them to serve and to be a blessing.
Our God is so Good! In my previous newsletter I asked you to pray for Nadya and her three daughters. I am so happy to let you know that the girls are no longer in the shelter but home with their mom. And I am glad that we had a part in it. It always blessed my heart when kids get home. While we were helping with the repairs we had no idea of what will happen. We were just helping, praying and believing.
We continue to visit them, support, bring some food and encourage them in the word. Here is a Bible for the girls.They love it and so interested in reading it. Please continue to pray for them, Nadya needs another job.
Irina and her new flat
Another answered prayer. Irina and Maksim are in their new flat. No longer does she need to chop the wood and pump water outside.It was a perfect timing for the move as her biological brother (was also in the orphanage) moved in with her in the barrack. Legally he had rights, and he has drinking problems, so Irina had to call the police a few times. She is safe now, the flat is nice, but she lacks some furniture. We would appreciate a donation for her furniture.
Family Home ministry
All our boys and girls stay healthy, some have troubles with jobs, but for the most part we are ok. We had a few cooking meetings in April. In May we celebrated two birthdays,it was nice to get together after a while. We also get together via zoom once or twice a week for a bible study.
40 food baskets
To make 40 food baskets during pandemic is not easy. It is a big challenge to buy the food nowadays.
Our wonderful team prepared the boxes and we took them to the southern part of the country, where needs are great.The families were so blessed to get the food as many of them were starving. The women didn’t mind carrying very heavy packages. They were blessed, we were blessed even more.
Two more families not far away from Minsk got food bags from us and those are the families, whose kids used to be in the shelter, but now the kids are home. Natalia, a single mom, whose house burnt down a while ago, is working hard, a food bag was very needed.
Vika and Katya we great hosts, served tea while the parents were working.They are the kids,who spent long years in the system while their mother was in prison and dealing with alcohol addiction. Now they have been home for a few years by now. we love to visit them.
Mama Nina and her kids
Those of you who know mama Nina would not be surprised that she couldn’t keep social distance with us. Cheerful, loving and caring, she encourages me a lot. Up until a few weeks ago, her home was open for small group local women’s Bible studies and she encourages other people in the village to believe in Christ. We had a wonderful time as her kids were singing praises to God!
Thank you, dear friends, that you keep us in your prayers. Now I will ask you to pray for the most important things for us at the moment.
Please pray for the sick among our friends. Also pray for our summer. We want to do a camp in the village but do not know yet when and how.
We pray for you, for your health, families, churches. Stay strong in the Lord!
With love and gratitude,
Olga, Yasha and our team