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Special Report : 2020 Year in Review

June 12, 2021

REPORT ON 2020 – Year in Review

 

UKRAINIAN GOVT NOT ALLOWING US TO TAKE ORPHANS FOR AUGUST CAMP

August 14, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Ukrainian government has extended the lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic once again, until August 31 (originally it was May 1, then end of June, then July 31st). Roller coaster ride….

 

Now, in speaking with orphanage directors with which we work (our national staff member Sveta Baranova has been in touch constantly with them) , we understand that their hands are tied, and the government will NOT allow the orphans to come to our August Bible Camp. We must reschedule.
For example, the current government restrictions would mean that for our four leaders who come from Belarus to serve at the camp (Liza, Vadim, Lousha & Alina), and Laura from Latvia, upon arrival they would have to quarantine for 14 days before they could even join us. That’s impossible for them to get off from work or school for an additional 14 days! Plus, the expense of hotel, meals, for and extra 14 days? Just one of the repercussions we’re navigating.
This is a difficult situation for everyone – us, the orphanage staff, and especially for the orphans…our hands are tied, but we must pray and plan given the circumstances we’ve been handed. By all means, number one priority must be that we want our staff, and these precious children to be safe and healthy!
Plus, we’ve learned that the government mandates has virtually shutdown ALL camps for orphans ALL summer. It’s been a very difficult time for the orphans, psychologically, with no place to go, left to stare at the four walls of a bleak orphanage, or worse yet, many are sent to relatives to stay (isn’t that why many of them are in the orphanages in the first place because it’s not safe at home???).
As you have read, we have already set up two contingency plans, a Plan B and a Plan C if you will, actually with the help and at the suggestion of Yanna Titunik, Orphanage Director of Snovsk Village Orphanage, Ukraine, and with Yuri our contact in Truskovyets who negotiates with the potential camp locations for us there.
Of course, ALL totally understand our dilemma, that our hands are tied, and are they are FULLY cooperating. Plan B places us into late October at the fall break for school, and Plan C is scheduled for December.
We have already been able through Yuri to reserve the space for October, and to address with them conversations about December if it’s needed.
Funds for camp have been set aside. Through our August 10 deadline, we were able to raise about 70% of what we raised last year THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS HELPED! One ‘silver lining’ God may be providing is the opportunity to continue to raise orphan sponsorships to make up the difference. We haven’t decided how to approach that yet. We’re still sorting through everything.
We do know that it flips our usual schedule somewhat (what hasn’t been ‘flipped’ in our lives due to this unprecedented situation!) and we will ‘Launch’ our monthly orphanage outreaches and our new season of ‘Fresh Start’ in September as originally planned (more on that as we make the necessary plans).
Understand that one of the greatest challenges we have is ministering in three different countries where there are very different situations and approaches to this crisis – Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia. For example, Ukraine has tried to be very strict since March, while seeing the numbers continue to be troubling, while Belarussian President Lukashenko in the beginning of the pandemic called it a hoax, and later, once he acknowledged that there was a pandemic, simply advised Belarussians to ‘drink more vodka and go to the saunas and the disease will be killed.”
Incredible!
So this is the path we’re on….it’s not what we had hoped for, but what can we do except trust that nothing takes God by surprise and as we look to Him, we will eventually see that, whichever plan we may realize, if it’s our Plan B or Plan C or Plan D, it will be God’s Plan A and we will fully understand why!
PLEASE PRAY FOR US! HERE ARE TWO VERSES I AM FOCUSED ON:
This first one is one of our daily Bible camp memory verses:
Proverbs 3:5,6 – Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart, And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].”
Romans 8:28 – “And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”
With Kindest Regards, Greg

GOOD MORNING AND GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!!!

July 1, 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR VERY FIRST BIBLE? For me, one of the most gratifying things about our Bible Camp for Orphans, is that it is where the child receives their very first Bible EVER!

NASTYA TAKING SOME QUIET TIME ALONE TO READ GOD’S WORD FROM HER NEW FIRST BIBLE, GIVEN TO HER AT CAMP

 

It’s such a blessing to see their reaction, and the fact that we are able to, every day, touch on a different Bible theme, guiding through the scriptures, makes them so very engaged in the Word of God from Day One.
VERONIKA MEMORIZING HER VERSE FOR THAT’S DAY BIBLE LESSON AT CAMP
“Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You. How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth! Your word is a lamp to my feet. And a light to my path.” Psalm 119
The Bible we give them is obviously in Russian, and contains a lot of Bible study helps focused on youth. In addition, we give them a Russian Illustrated Children’s New Testament which helps them visualize further events and teachings they are only now learning about.
 
Every day, for every Bible theme we cover, campers have one memory verse connected to that topic. By the end of camp, they have memorized one for every day.
VANYA CAME TO CAMP & CHRIST WHEN HE WAS 16. NOW HE IS IN HIS 30s SERVING ON STAFF & TEACHING OTHERS
Getting our orphans ‘engaged’ with and ‘immersed’ in God’s word is something we know that will guide them in life, and that which they will take with them for the rest of their lives.
” But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water,Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].”  Psalm 1:2,3
If you look at the roof of the Disciple’s House we build step-by-step, every day at camp, you will see 2 Timothy 2:2 written as a daily reminder. It is Paul writing to his own covert and disciple Timothy these words:
“The things [the doctrine, the precepts, the admonitions, the sum of my ministry] which you have heard me teach in the presence of many witnesses, entrust [as a treasure] to reliable and faithful men who will also be capable and qualified to teach others.”
IN SMALL GROUP, THEY REVIEW THE THINGS THEY’VE LEARNED AND THE SCRIPTURES CONNECTED TO THAT DAY’S BIBLE LESSON
Pray for us as we do, and pray that God would open the hearts of these children to His word, that His word would become life and breath to them, wisdom and guidance, and food for their journey.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength [your entire being]. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be [written] on your heart and mind. You shall teach them diligently to your children [impressing God’s precepts on their minds and penetrating their hearts with His truths] and shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 6:5-7
THANK YOU for ALL that you do to help us in this mission to “go and make disciples…” THANK YOU for your prayers. THANK YOU for your generous financial support, especially during these difficult and challenging times. You are such a blessing to me and I am thankful to the Lord for you!
With Kindest Regards, Greg

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD…

June 25, 2020

In the 1968 movie musical OLIVER the orphans sang the refrain, “FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD…”

 

In reality, most if not all of the orphans in our state-run orphanages in the former Soviet Union come to the orphanage malnourished, small for their age.
‘TYPICAL’ BIGGEST MEAL OF THE DAY AT THE ORPHANAGE
There are so many positive impacts from our Bible Camp for Orphans that go beyond what we normally think of.
Of course, first and foremost are the spiritual aspects that can change an orphan forever as we seek to immerse them in God’s love and in His eternal word. Then there is the sense of belonging to a warm and loving ‘family,’ God’s forever family.

The care and attention our staff and leaders give the orphans also has a great impact on them as well, and once back at the orphanage, the directors and staff notice the changes in the children’s attitudes, how they treat each other, their respect for teachers and staff, and their attitude towards studies and life in general.

But there is more! It’s what I call ‘behind the scenes.’
For example, the food they receive at camp is incredibly nutritious and beyond what the orphanage can offer. Below is a picture of a typical orphanage meal, and the other pictures are from meals we serve at camp.

Most of these orphans come to the orphanage greatly malnourished because the parent or parents don’t take care of them, often spending much of the household money on their drinking, or in other cases, the family is so poor they don’t have the money or the knowledge to provide healthy nutrition for their children.

Most orphans are fed better in the orphanage at least giving them three meals a day, though basic.

At camp, as you can see from the actual pictures here from last summer’s camp, they enjoy a wonderfully nutritious three meals a day plus two healthy snacks like fruit and kefir. Beyond the obvious impact on the life of the orphan, that is also part of what you are sponsoring when you provide an orphan sponsorship.

NIKITA IS 13 YEARS OLD, & HAS ALL THE POTENTIAL IN THE WORLD!

June 24, 2020

One-by-one, I want to share with you their stories. They will touch your heart, as you see their precious faces, and read about the WHY, why are they living in a room with 15-20 beds in an orphanage out of sight in a small Ukrainian village?

Prayerfully, I am hoping each story, each face, each life will speak to and touch someone’s heart who then will say “YES! I WILL SPONSOR THIS CHILD!

As you know from testimonies from past years (Just think of orphans Laura & Ieva Gaigalniece as they were on our waiting list in 2010 and someone said “YES!”), the opportunity to experience camp is life-changing, and who needs this chance more than an orphan, a child left behind and for all intents and purposes, FORGOTTEN.

Today, I wanted you to meet Nikita, 13…

NIKITA HAD TO WITNESS HIS FATHER’S CRUEL BEATINGS OF HIS MOM

Two brothers Dima and Nikita started their life at Schors orphanage in September of 2017. The boys came from a multi-child family, which now is under surveillance of the social services department and the police.

Their parents divorced because their father was drinking heavily and was cruelly beating their mother. So you can imagine what these two boys witnessed and yet survived. AND imagine what the Lord could do in our Bible Camp for Orphans as they are immersed in His love and His word!

Each Orphan Sponsorship is $1385, and impacts THREE people, fully sponsoring the orphan, partially sponsoring one of our leaders (3:1 camper to leader ratio), and partially sponsoring a chaperone/orphanage staff (we’re required by law to bring one staff member for every six orphans).

Email me or message me and I’d be more than happy to send you the profile of one or more of these precious children, their pictures, more about their life, and in their own words, WHY they desire with all their hearts to come and be a part of our Bible Camp for Orphans.

If you’d like to give to help Nikita or any of the 35 orphans on our first waiting list, please feel free to click on the link below to give with your credit or debit card. Any amount will help tremendously.

http://www.nlminfo.org/donate/

If you prefer to give by check, please send your gift to NEW LIFE MINISTRIES, INC., PO BOX 2096, WAKE FOREST, NC, 27588.

THANK YOU!

With Kindest Regards, Greg

 

ABOUT LAURA GAIGALNIECE

June 22, 2020

What a blessing to see the miracle God has done in Laura Gaigalniece’s life!

 

When 90% of orphans who have been ‘aged out’ at ages 16-17 years old from their orphanages become ‘socially marginalized’ in just 1-3 years, this success story needs to be told.
And while we have this opportunity through Wednesday, June 24th, for Sponsorship Gifts to be doubled for the same camp at which it all started for Laura in 2010, may we earnestly take full advantage of it.
I went back and found the ‘WAITING LIST’ we had during the year Laura and her sister were sponsored as orphans to come to our August Bible Camp. Here it is and there is her name:
It all started when someone sponsored Laura and Ieva to camp. I look at this year’s Waiting List and wonder, “Who is the next Laura or Ieva or Vitalik on the list, and will they have a chance, a sponsor?”
That is where it all begins.
Will you be that person? Between now and midnight, Wednesday, June 24th, every gift towards an Orphan Camp Sponsorship is doubled…a one-half sponsorship of $692.50 BECOMES A FULL SPONSORSHIP WITH THE MATCH.
….a FULL SPONSORSHIP BECOMES TWO SPONSORSHIPS….and so on!
Click on the link below to give with your debit or credit card:
https://www.nlminfo.org/donate/
If you prefer to give by check and have your gift DOUBLED, please send it to NEW LIFE MINISTRIES, INC., PO BOX 2096, WAKE FOREST, NC, 27588.
Laura told her WHOLE story last fall, and I wanted to share it with you. It will bless you, I think, to see what God can do!
Who on this list is the next Laura?

“WHEN I AM SAD NOW”

June 17, 2020

Last August, Evelina, 12, was asked her impressions of the Bible Camp in Ukraine.
She shared, “I HAVE LEARNED HOW WONDERFUL GOD AND ALL HIS CREATION ARE.
EVELINA, 12, FROM LAST AUGUST’S BIBLE CAMP
“WHEN I AM SAD NOW, I JUST LOOK UP AT THE SKY AND MY SADNESS DISAPPEARS.
“I’D LIKE TO SAY ‘THANK YOU’ TO ALL WHO GAVE ME AND ALL THE KIDS IN THIS CAMP THE CHANCE TO COME AND FIND OUT MORE ABOUT GOD AND LEARN THE BIBLE.
“THANK YOU, FOR YOU ARE GOOD, AND YOU SUPPORT US AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.”
Amazing what God can do….miracles…and we have a list of orphans from Ukraine who are ready to come and experience a loving, godly atmosphere at our August Bible Camp for Orphans.
Please pray with me that God would stir hearts, and that each one would have someone who believes in them, who would sponsor them!
With Kindest Regards, Greg
ORPHANS ON OUR CAMP LIST:

WOULD YOU LIKE MORE INFORMATION?

June 15, 2020

Would you like more information on how you can make a difference in an orphan’s life by becoming a sponsor for our August Bible Camp for Orphans? Click Contact and I’ll send you this packet..
JAMES 1:27 – “Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress…”

 

FOR ALL SHE’S BEEN THROUGH, SHE HAS AN AMAZING ATTITUDE!

June 15, 2020

FOR ALL SHE’S BEEN THROUGH, SHE HAS AN AMAZING ATTITUDE! Nika, 11, came to the orphanage fall, 2018. This curious, open girl is studying now at the fifth grade. If you get acquainted with her you will see what a little lady she is – graceful, neat, demanding to her appearance. Nika used to live with her mother. The orphanage director told us that at least at the orphanage Nika has a chance to live a normal life far from the beatings and conflicts. She attends our monthly Bible lessons and especially loves the crafts every time we come.The director feels the chance to come to our Bible Camp for Orphans will be an incredible atmosphere of love and family that will change her life. She is one of the 35 orphans on our camp waiting list looking for someone to sponsor her this August.

 

NASTYA MAKHOROV, 16, IS ON OUR CAMP WAITING LIST

June 14, 2020

Girls ‘age out’ of their orphanages at 16, 17 years old and according to MN News, by the time they’re 18, almost 60% of those girls are involved in the sex trade.

NASTYA MAHKOROV, 16, (L), & HER THREE FRIENDS – ANNA, KATYA, NATASHA – ON FRONT ROW OF OUR MONTHLY OUTREACH AT BASAN ORPHANAGE
At 16 years old, going on 17, orphan Nastya Makhorov becomes a potential target for Eastern European human traffickers.
You see, she is set to ‘age out’ of Stara Basan Village Orphanage, Ukraine soon.
BUT WE WANT TO GET TO HER FIRST!
Nastya and her friends attend our monthly Bible lessons usually sitting together on the front row, listening and watching our Bible lessons, gladly doing the crafts, engaging one-on-one with our team.

NASTYA MAKHOROV, 16, IS ON OUR CAMP WAITING LIST

WHAT’S NASTYA’S STORY? Nastya and her brother were sent to the orphanage 7 years ago because of the situation at home.

Both siblings NEVER knew their fathers (they were different men), so their mother is their only parent and when she lost her job, it became seemingly her only option to send the children to the orphanage.

She told them it would only be temporary, but seven years have passed….