Thank you so very much for your love, support, friendship and patience. Now let me fill you in with our family news. Thomas has finished 9th grade, which is completing the first level of education in our country. Stephanie finished with elementary school, Erika has some success in gymnastics and Emma was accepted into music school that she will start in September. The ministry was going on despite the grief and today I will summarize and tell what we did in the last two months
Orphans on a Mission. Everyone Wants a Bible
One of our ministry goals is to reach a child and to have long-term relationships. Many of the kids,becoming adults, we have known for 5-10 years. First we meet them right when they are taken away from the family, we serve them while they are in the shelter and we continue to be in their lives as they go to an orphanage or to foster family. This is how we meet new foster families. In one village there are 3 foster families, who expressed a desire to study the Bible.
During regular weekly visits our staff Lena was putting up a theater puppet play with the kids, learning songs and dance. We were preparing them for a small mission trip to tell other kids about God.
They went out three times to perform, but the most exciting was in Gomel area in Zhitkovichi. 4 hours of traveling one way and performing in the club for kids and adults didn’t make anyone tired. After the concert we fed the kids, gave out Bibles and some food bags to the needy families and we were singing songs worshiping God all the way home,thanking Him for His goodness!
The director of a local village club Luba came up to me after our program and asked if she can have a Bible. Now she has one.
A History Lesson
We keep up the good work, not only regular visits with bible lessons, crafts, games and candy, but we gave about 30 kids haircuts, we took a big bus (40+) orphans from Radoshkovichi on a field trip to an open history museum The Stalin Line, it was a line of fortifications along the western border of the Soviet Union.
We spent wonderful time with the kids, had a little picnic and many talks. It was special because my sister, who lives in USA and doesn’t have much chances to visit us joined me for the day. It was very special, because when she lived in Belarus we were doing the ministry together, so it felt as homecoming for me!
We keep visiting families with food, prayers, love. Sometime we sit and talk, other times we read from the Bible, other times do something they need like going to the doctor, or buying something special. A gypsy family of 13 kids from Zhitkovichi, whom we have known for 5 years and the kids came to our camps was on edge of loosing kids to the orphanage for having an empty gas tank ( officials come and check on them). The family put two bricks and made a small fire outside for cooking. ( there are no conveniences at the house and one room is covered with mold, very poor).
To safe their situation (to a certain degree ) we paid for the gas tank to be refilled. 17$ cost and the kids remain at home.
That was our third visit to the area, the previous ones we took food bags for all the families we work with, helped with clothes, repairs in the houses,etc. all is possible because of you our partners and friends.
Last year as we started “Cooking classes” in a new orphanage location we set up a few goals such as to teach teenagers how to cook and prepare them for life outside of the institution, to make friends and share our testimonies, to equip our young people from Family Home for the ministry (they were the main team serving) and to have fun !
I think we succeeded in all of it.
The final cook out was really nice and all the kids who participated got Bibles. We gave out 30!
We had a few nice meetings with older girls (participants of our program, now living on their own), we celebrated Sveta’s and Lena’s birthdays, we did some painting and some gardening, bible studies and worship times, going to orphnages, cooking and having fun time as well. Also one of the boys Sergey, got married last week to a wonderful girl Vika, both of them are volunteering in the orphanages.
Now about our SUMMER Plans
1. Summer is a wonderful time of camps. Right now we started to minister in a camp for 25 kids half from orphanage half from social troubled families. It takes place in a shelter building, the kids are fed and get their place to stay. Our team comes in 3 times a week with lessons, snacks, games.the kids rotate every three weeks, the camp will last for 2 month, We want to have an outing for each group of kids as well.
2. Zhitkovichi camp. 50 kids from 5 villages in Chernobyl area, daily camp activities, food both physical and spiritual and ministry to the families in the evenings.
3. Family retreat camp. A time of refreshment and growth for both kids and adults, foster families and village families are invited.
4. VBS camp with learning English if you are interested in learning more about a particular camp or donating towards a specific camp program, feel free to ask your questions via email. It is because of you we are able to minister on a daily basis, thank you so very much!
Prayers: Please pray for our summer programs, for our health and strength.
Yasha and Olga