The world of a young girl is turned upside down as she learns of her mothers death. Something in her heart changes as a sudden void is created. Her father had been out of her life for many years due to alcohol. She begins to look at the world in a different light and sees that they look at her differently too. She does not know where she fits in. As her inner world of insecurtiy grows she hids behind a false wall of outward strength. Under it all she is desperatly seeking to be loved.
Who will show her that she is still special in their eyes? Who will reach out and touch this little one?
In all of the gospels you will find stories of Jesus reaching out and touching the children. When the disciples thought they were a bother He said "Let the children come to me". Jesus alway took time for them. He touched them, prayed for them, and blessed their lives with a touch of love.
Our journey this month takes us into the lives of some of those you have touch by love.
As we entered the room at the orphanage for the first time six months ago, six year old Violeta sat quietly off to the side from the other children. I approached her, asked her name, and talked for a few minutes. I then gave her a hug and a present of fruit. She stayed near me for a while that day and then just before our leaving brought me a small toy, one of the few she had, as a thank you gift. Upon several other visits she still was off alone and waited for me to come to her. Each time she beamed as I took her in my arms for a hug. On a recent visit she came running to meet me with a big hug as I reached the door. She now joins in the games where she once just watched. She has been touched by love.
Upon our recent trip to the infant hospital as we arrive with another supply of medicine and formula we are greeted with tears from the doctors. There has been little help for them to care for the twenty five orphan babies. A few weeks earlier we arrived to find babies sick and hungry as they were out of food and medicine. Thanks to your loving help we were able to provide both.
The doctor began sharing a story with us of baby Vova. His mother Marina had brought him in a week earlier near death from hunger. His breathing was shallow and lungs infected. The skin on his legs hung from lack of fat tissues. The doctor said we saved his life with these provisions. A week later he was able to return home and we provided a month supply of needed medicine and formula. Marina had tears in her eyes as she graciously excepted these gifts and held tight as I gave her a loving hug. They too were touched by love.
Also that day she introduced us to Dema, a three month old that was fighting for his life. His weight was only two kilos (about four pounds). He had many health problems and needed several test that there was no money for. Again your love made it possible for us to meet this need. He is now gaining weight and strength with the food and medicine. Another touch of love.
Tolya is a young man of sixteen. He and his sister are now without parents. They were found living in a basement. Due to her slow learning ability she is in a separate home. Tolya was very unhappy with life and ran away from the home several times. He found his way to the street children shelter. Here he was excepted and provide with food for the body and the soul as he was taught about Jesus and His love. He found hope in life. Tolya then returned to the orphanage and has now become a light to those around him. As we entered the home recently with new tennis shoes for several, he greeted me with a big hug and grateful smile. He said these shoes were an answer to his prayer as the ones on his feet and feet of others were worn out. His life has been touched with love.
As I entered the home for children with mental problems, home of 160 children, the conditions were very bad. Upon talking with the director I found that due to shortage of funds they had to discontinue one of the meals. In addition to that the children had not been getting meat or fruits. Other needs included clothing, building repairs, and medicine.
Today, three months later, on a visit to this same home children are now eating all meals and they include meat and fruits. Young Slava came to me with a big smile on his face. As he hugged me tightly, he asked "are you the person that gave us money for food?" When I replyed yes he asked if I would please continue to help. He was very thankful as he enjoyed an extra piece of bread with his soup. He was touched by your love.
These are a few of the many stories within the lives of the orphan children in Russia. In this area of Russia there are thirty three homes of which we have made contact with fifteen. The number of children average 100 per home. They say that only 10% of these children will succeed in the world after leaving the homes. Many will enter the world of crime as a means of survival. Many of the girls will turn to prostitution and will have more unwanted babies that will then be added to the orphanages.
The Lord is enabling us to touch the lives of these little ones. We are attempting to establish programs within the homes that will allow some training for future trades and living skills. He is beginning to provide workers and we are establishing programs of interaction with Russian Churches. Along with this we are meeting needs for food, clothing, medicine, repairs, and love.
God is love. In John 21 He says if you love me feed my lambs. These children are His lambs and we need to care for them. If your heart has been touched by the love in these stories I would ask you to join us in support of this ministry. Please pray for helping hands for the work, open hearts of love for both giving and receiving, and God's provision of the physical and financial needs.
Without you this ministry could not be possible. May you continue to be blessed as you are a blessing to the children, the staff at each home, and to me. They continue to realize that this is truly an act of God's love that is touching their lives. We thank you.
Remember God loves you and so do I
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