These days, difficult financial situations affect many. The Bible says that those who water will themselves be watered. Please pray that the Lord will provide for Spring of Revival and other ministries that labor in Christ’s name without thought for themselves. Contact me if you’d like to know how to support this and other Stoneworks programs.
The following report was written by Olga Goncharenko, the director of Spring of Revival.
With grateful hearts we are giving you an update on our Christmas ministry.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring the Good news to many children and especially as we have two celebrations of Christmas in our country.
This Christmas we brought blessings to about 400 kids: gifts, concerts, Bible message and prayers.
We started with Christmas fair in Stankovo orphanage in mid-December. One hundred and thirty five children came with their coupons to get sweets, toys, school supplies, drinks and many other things that we have prepared for them. We prepared a concert with youth from our church and shared Christmas message. Even my son Thomas, who is 4 and a half now, sang a long Christmas song.
Then we continued in Slytsk orphanage (about 130 kids). We came to see their concert, they like when we watch it as it’s important for them. Our gifts to them was juice and fruit (enough for one week for the whole orphanage) and we also had a tea time with a group of kids, it’s a great time for a close fellowship. We sang and prayed together, brought them personal Christmas gifts.
Next comes Orthodox Christmas, that we celebrate on January 7th. After the church concert, we invited post orphans from Stankovo, who now live in Minsk, to come and have Christmas lunch with us. Eight girls came and we also had us and some volunteers. We talked about Christmas, prayed, ate, listen to songs, played games, gave gifts to everyone and even danced (they liked Contemporary Christian music). The girls liked it and the lunch grew into dinner (good thing we had enough food). Around 9.00 at night we took them home. Yasha said it was like having a camp. We really were blessed by that and hope to continue to have such meetings.
In January we also visited an orphanage for kids 3-6 years old. They needed diapers, so we took them. It was our first time to come to that particular place and we didn’t know what to expect. Groups have 5-8 kids, that have some mental or physical disability. We concentrated our attention on a boy named Maxim, who is a bit paralyzed on side of his body. It happened as a result of his mom’s physical attack. And many kids have similar stories. But some were very talkative and liked to play with us. We realized that they need attention at the most and they wanted some yogurts and juice that we agreed to bring to them next time we come.
And the last, but very important to us was a trip to Zhitkovichi area. The orphanage we loved and worked for 7 years has been closed, but with the help of our old friends we reached about 40 children, who are now in foster families. We met at the orphanage, which is a special school for clever kids now. All was so familiar to us, but at the same time we did feel the difference. We had a great time of 1,5 hour concert and play time.
We gave gifts to all and we talked, so kids even came with their foster parents. Then we set up a table with sweets, fruit, drinks, cakes and other goodies. Surprisingly, the kids didn’t eat as much as they used to. It’s a good sign and we saw that they are well fed and well dressed (clean) and some are even in Christian families, but some kids and especially Maxim, really wanted to change a family or even go to another orphanage. It’s a pity, and we need to pray for Maxim. We took their home addresses to see if we can start some correspondence. But the most shocking thing to us was the fact that the new administration made us pay rent for the hall we used (by the way, we helped to get 40 chairs for that hall). We really saw the difference in the place, but we were so blesses to see kids’ reunion as many of them didn’t see each other after the orphanage being closed.
And the end of our visit was a tour in a new family home (Italians paid for it , but it belongs to the local authorities now). There are 8 kids there and Lidia (we know her very well) and her husband are the parents. The atmosphere was great, the kids have nice rooms and good care. They are loved. The family is close to Christ, please keep them in your prayers. They shared the desire to raise chickens and have a garden, so they have food. We would love to help them with that.
They wanted to receive a blessing on their home, so we prayed and then did our favorite blessing from Numbers 6:24-26:
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
The letter is really long, but I had so much to share. And now I ask your prayers as we are really being targeted. I can’t say much by correspondence, but everything possible is being done to take our legal papers for the ministry. It doesn’t stop us, but we need prayers.
Love in Christ, Olga Goncharenko
Spring of Revival, Belarus