Need for Bibles among the orphans
The decline of the living conditions of the Belarusians triggered collapse of family values. Abandoned by their parents, many children have found themselves in the orphanages and children’s homes. The kids need to be treated with a special care, as they are vulnerable and can be easily wounded. Love towards parents and feeling of confidence inspired by parental love are basic emotions of everybody, especially children, and the state of having been forsaken by parents leads to forming a mighty inferiority complex. So, dealing with such kids requires unselfishness and devotion from the staff. They work self-sacrificially, doing their best to compensate the absence of love, although it is impossible to the full extent. Maintaining contacts with the workers, we get to know the needs of the children’s homes and realize how much work to be done in this great area.
It is true that no human efforts can heal the wounds in the young hearts, but there is One Who is able to transform sadness into joy, and despair into peace, and Whose love can be a source of immeasurable joy, filling the life of the little ones with a new meaning. And reaching them with the Word of God is a task of high priority for our Bible Society; this is what we are called to. We give thanks to God for this privilege of serving Him through dispensation the books containing the divine message of love and salvation, and believe them to conduce to healing of the little inmates.
The following is the excerpts from the letters of request we received from the workers of Gomel' children’s home.
"There are 280 inmates in Gomel boarding school #5. All of them are retarded children, suffering from various maladies such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome etc. Spiritual literature would be of great help for the kids, giving them consolation and support. However we currently do not have any Christian books" (S. Plesskaya, chief librarian)
"Gomel boarding school administration would be grateful for the gift of spiritual literature which is great support in the matter of implanting moral and spiritual value into kids’ hearts. There are more then 300 children ranging from 6 to 18 years here, and they all need consolation, encouragement, and, most of all, love. We hope their hearts will change under the salutary influence of Christian books. The staff too will get to know more about love of God" (M.Savelyeu, Gomel boarding school Director)
The stories of the little inmates are really heartbreaking. Here are some of them.
|Stories of little Valya and Volodya
Valya, 9, and Volodya, 8, have found themselves in the children’s home two years ago. Their mother’s been in prison for evading paying maintenance, and, left to their fate, the children had starved. The father seems to be totally indifferent to his own children, and has looked in just once for two years. A woman named Luiba, an Orthodox believer, visits them on Sundays. She presented them with the book “Jesus Is Alive”, but there is no more Christian literature there.
Lena, 10, also is an orphan, though her parents are alive. Her mother lives in Gomel. She is addicted to drink, which is why she had been deprived of parental rights and the unemployed. The father has a job, but manifests no desire to care for his daughter. He has abandoned her, and pays her no visit. Earlier, when living with the granny, Lena had the Gospel to read. It was the granny’s book, and she didn’t allow the book to be taken to the children’s home, but presented the girl with the cross on a chain Lena is wearing around her neck. Lena, like any other little inmate of the children’s home, wants to have her own Bible.
The teacher, Yelena Ivanauna, says, “There are many kids who are kin here. The mothers-drunkards keep procreating offsprings, and then give them over to orphanages. So big difference in years between the kids of the same family is not something exceptional. For example, a boy may be 12 years old, while his sister is only 2.
“Such so-called mothers must be sterilized”, she adds with bitterness.
|Children asylum in Brest. Taken from their loveless parents, the kids are sheltered there for six months, and then they are sent to different children’s homes, or, if good luck holds, to the families willing to adopt them.|
Andrey came from hospital, after having had lots of traumas. His parents had divorced, and father married another woman, who took a dislike to him. Father would beat Andrey, for which a suit was brought against him, and he was deprived from parental rights. In case his grandmother doesn't take him from this shelter, he will be sent to Children's Home.
Sasha Kolgotov, 5, used to live at the family where there were 5 children. Mother was alcoholic and prostitute. Once Sasha woke up and drank a liquid aimed to clean pipes, and so burned his alimentary canal. Twice a month he gets to hospital for operation on removing scars from alimentary canal.
'A winner of Miss Brest competition once visited the shelter and gifted $500; now medicine supplies for treatment are bought on that sum. The shelter is also rendered help by Philip Morris tobacco plant, as well as by ordinary people who send clothes there. But no one has ever presented us with Bibles or other spiritual literature', says Valentina Alekseyevna, the Director of the shelter.
Belynichi boarding school for orphans
was established in 1979. Now there are 180 children
ranging in age from 5 to 17 years there.
Having finished the school the young people generally continue their study at technical colleges. For the period of the existence of this school, more than 600 children have finished it, and only 15 of them have been adopted.
At the picture: Serguey is happy to get the colorful and well-illustrated children Bible.
Krugloye boarding school for orphans houses 94 children from 43 inhabited localities. The kids range in age from 8 to 17 years though parents sometimes leave even their babies near the front door. The spiritual literature granted by the Bible Society as a gift to the orphanage library, quickens children's great interest. The Bible Society will surely keep on making every effort to supply orphans with spiritual literature and reach their hearts with Christ's love.
Borisov Boarding School currently shelters the kids with inchoative as well as advanced stages of tuberculosis. Established in 1961, this health restoration center is situated in the greenbelt near Borisov town, and provides the opportunity for recuperation for some 200 kids yearly. The building is in picturesque surroundings, pine forest making air healthy. Apple tree garden, age-long oaks and chestnut planted by the graduates conduce to recuperation of the little inmates. The inmates receive treatment procedures, spend plenty of time out of door and have five meals a day, their food wholesome. Now that they have got the spiritual literature, we hope it will be a blessing for both the kids and teachers, as these books bear the message of God's love toward men. They had needed love so badly when at home! It was the troubled families those poor kids have come from, their parents having advanced stages of tuberculosis. The boys named Vasya and Liosha (photo) arrived here more than two years ago. They were very pleased with the books we brought. In the quiet of the beautiful forest they will read the Word of God, getting to know His eternal truths of love and salvation.
Zhodino Boarding School
Founded in 1960, Zhodino boarding school for orphans and the kids left without parental care is situated 50 km distant from Minsk. It is currently houses 220 children, of which 32 kids are the real orphans, and the rest are the social orphans, i.e. have their parents debarred of parental rights. Every summer the school is visited by the representatives of the American charitable organization "Ministry to Orphans". They pay the kids attention they need so badly, playing with the inmates and teaching them to spend their leisure hours fruitfully. The Americans presented the library with many wonderful books on various topics, but there is no book among them to bear the message of God's love, and so they can neither bring consolation nor provide any solid foundation for the life lying in front of the children.
That is why the Christian literature presented by the Bible Society had been gratefully accepted by the school administration (photo). We gave the precious books to the library and now they are accessible to all.
At the boarding school a seminar sessions are held on education and nurture of the children, and "Christian ABC" will be of great help in this regard. Issued by the Bible Society of Belarus, this book contains Christian moral values and shows how to apply them in a daily life. Not only the materials of the book edificatory, but also it bears the message of God's light and mercy. "Christian ABC" is filled with the material helping to develop speech, memory and brainwork. Hopefully this literature will be a blessing for the inmates of this boarding school, which has become a home for the kids, and may it be a place where they will learn to see God's love and manifest it to those around them.
Kholopenichi Children's Home
Evenets children's home
The Bible Society closely cooperates with the charitable organizations helping the children of Belarus. The Chernobyl Children Organization from the USA has been involved in the charitable activity for a long time, particularly rendering help to the children's home located in the town of Evenets. On March 10, 2005, the representatives of this organization and the BS worker visited the children's home, which shelters the little inmates suffering from physical deficiencies. Thanks to loving care of those who work for CCO, many kids have visited the USA under the auspice of a sanative program, and this time they have presented all the kids with new blankets. However, there were no Christian books at the children's home library, and, to repair this insufficiency, we had decided to bring them spiritual books as a gift, so that the inmates and the administration both might have an opportunity to read the message about God's love and learn spiritual truths. We passed the books (photo), which were thankfully accepted. Richly illustrated and excellently bound, the books at once caught the attention of the director, the staff and the kids.
Alexey and Sherzot, the friends (photo), wanted to read a Children Bible. Chairbound from his childhood, Alexey is now 14; he became an inmate of this children's home five years ago. His hobbies are computer, fiction stories. The boy is fond of reading, but Alexey's arms are paralyzed and motionless, and, to turn over the leaves, he uses his mouth. His friend Sherzot helped him to open the Bible and they both started read it absorbedly. Sherzot is Uzbek by nationality, his parents forsook him when he was little, and now he is already 17. He told us it is a great joy for him to have the opportunity of reading such nice and interesting books.
100 inmates are sheltered by the children's home, and the majority of them are chair bound kids. But, despite being deprived of many joys of life, the children are kind-hearted and responsive to affection. We met the girl Olga by name (photo). She is legless, but there was an aureola of joy and optimism about her, and our fellowship left us deeply impressed.
We hope for further collaboration, and pray that God's love will reach the children and repair the wounds in their young hearts.
How to get the Good News across to the orphans who steadily grow in number in our country? We often pray about it, and the loving Lord helps us to come into contact with the devoted Christians ministering to the little inmates of the children homes.
Serving the children in the settlement of Dubrowka