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  • Doug Brendel

20 years and counting...

It was 20 years ago this week that I first set foot in Belarus.

Kristina had already been visiting the country for 8 years. I hated travel and wouldn’t go with her!

Finally, here I was, in the dead of winter, loading boxes of humanitarian aid with dozens of other American volunteers.

I was nervous — about the cold, about the language, about the politics, about the religious situation, about everything.

(But when Kristina pointed her camera at me, I managed a gung-ho smile.)

The Belarusian people, however, turned out to be as warm and friendly as Kristina had promised.

And they were so thankful for our help.

Of course, if you had told me back then that I would be preparing today for my 45th trip to Belarus, I would have called you crazy.

But here I am, preparing to depart for Minsk on January 20th.

Over these two decades, a huge number of people have contributed to what became “New Thing,” a “response of the heart” for people in the former USSR.

I am grateful for every one.

And I look forward to representing your values, your compassion, your faith, when I return there in a couple weeks.

I’ll send photo reports, as always.

In the meantime, you can always check us out at

Thank you so much for journeying with us!

Much love,

Doug Brendel

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