All Sorts of Homecoming!

I hope you've all had a great start to the new year. 2013 has already brought good news to thirty seven orphans in Kostroma, who received apartments from the government. We’re very happy for them to have a place to call home and hope that the others still in need will be similarly blessed soon. During the winter holidays both of our Dachas welcomed kids despite the very cold weather. In Kostroma they cleared snow from the backyard to make a soccer field, prepared a festive lunch to celebrate Bogdan’s birthday and helped villagers to bring water from the well and shovel the snow. Every weekend they go cross-country skiing there and continue with home improvement projects. One of the most active dacha participants, Sergei just came back from the Army and went straight to the Dacha where the kids organized a homecoming party.

2013-1 побеждаем снегопадShoveling the snow keeps one warm even on a coldest day!

2012-12 Отслужил как надо и вернулся. Дача 15.12.12.Sergei (left) thought of the Dacha all the time while serving in the Army

2013-1 Сднем рождения!Celebrating Bogdan's birthday at the Kostroma Dacha

In Vladimir, the kids were busy too: skiing at the Dacha, skating, touring Suzdal, visiting museums, and painting wooden figurines. This year we’re planning to expand the Vladimir Dacha and I’m very grateful to Ben Awes for helping us with new house plans that will make it even more of a warm and welcoming home to these young people.

DSCF3175Skiing at Vladimir Dacha

319813_252480338217239_771837263_nAt the Suzdal museum

This year we’ll need a lot of help with construction and home improvement at both Dachas, so please consider being involved and letting your friends know of this need. The Dachas are waiting to welcome you!

Over 300 kids continue to attend the Ministry Centers' programs: Computer classes, Dental care, English classes, Counseling, Life Skills and Job Skills trainings, Crafts and lots of Educational activities are a warm light in the dark winter.

at the dentist'sAt Kostroma dental office

Стажер Настя - беседа о питанииOur Vladimir Intern Nastya is leading a session on Healthy Lifestyles

IMC gym..The gym in Ivanovo is visited every day. Our Intern Krill and coach Valery lead classes for the IMC participants

Anna's trainingAnya, our Ivanovo Intern, is talking to the young men about addictions

Katya sharingKatya and Sasha, our Young Families program participants, met with kids at Volzhsky orphanage and shared about their lives.

IMG_1920Wonderful gifts were made by the participants in Antonina's crafts class

0 - having tea at one of the discussions

These programs and opportunities continue to change the lives of our young people, one person at a time. Whether it is learned computer skills, a treated tooth, some good advice, an opportunity to be a leader or just feeling accepted and welcomed home, our programs with your prayer and support help every young man and woman be a better person and have a better life.

In a couple of weeks George, Rebecca and I will be in our second home, Russia, and welcomed by our staff and the kids. We’re looking forward to reporting more stories of success! Please keep us, and especially the young people, in your thoughts and prayers.