The orphans are leaving…
The dog is yipping. (Is Andrei teasing him again?)
The cat is lounging in the window; all this noise is annoying her.
Somewhere upstairs, little kids are jumping on a bed.
Masha is in bed with a bit of a fever.
Tanya (just learning to read) is making her way through the Russian-language version of Dick and Jane.
It’s home! Except that it’s not. Not exactly.
This is the “Children’s Village,” a collection of beautiful residences for orphans in the town of Kobryn, Belarus, in the former USSR.
Devoted house-parents provide a real home for these children.
Some of the kids have lived here virtually their entire lives.
But the biggest kids — turning 18 this year — will have to leave this spring.
They’ve “aged out” of the foster system.
They’ll leave behind perhaps the only mom or dad they’ve ever known.
Some will leave behind their own younger siblings.
Most will go to a dorm-type setting, where they’ll have to fend for themselves.
They’ll need a pillow, and bed linens, and a pot and pan so they can cook for themselves.
Just like in the U.S., when teens age out of the foster system, many Belarusian orphans get into trouble.
Leaving with nothing, they descend into crime, drugs, prostitution, violence, anything to survive.
But we have the privilege of preventing such tragedies, by providing a “Life Starter Kit” for each graduating orphan.
* A gift from you of $54.59 will provide a blanket, a pillow, and bed linens for one orphan.
* A gift of $91.69 will provide all that plus pots and pans.
If we receive more than the total we need, we’ll provide irons and tea kettles, too.
Whatever you can do immediately will be a real help.
If you’d like to meet the orphans and their families, here are some photos.
(I suggest you widen your browser to enjoy the photos fully.)
God bless you for any gift of compassion you can give today!
Thanks for journeying with us!