A Summer of Growth!
Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 14:24
Here is a recent note from Alla in Kherson (she is the director of the kid's ministry there at Kherson Christian-Dr. Haaz Foundation).
Nastya started to visit our ministry more often. But still she lives in the street very often. Once her mom with her boyfriend came to us and scowled Nastya and Ruslan (her brother) that they don't come home and help about the house but look for any reason to escape. I think they are partially right but there's another side of the story - the relationships in the family provoke Nastya and Ruslan to escape. Nastya is changing. Recently she said rude things to one of the teachers, just changed her clothes, had lunch, then slammed the door and left. But the next day she returned with tears in her eyes and asked forgiveness. She asked forgiveness from everybody and we could see that she was really sorry. I always read your e-mails to her. They are very important for her.
Four new children started to come to our ministry - Kolya - 18 months old, his sister Anya - 7 years old, their brother Zhenia - 15 years old, and Slava - 8 years old, he's from Gypsies, their friend. Kolya, Anya and Zhenia have mother, father and apartment but the parents abuse alcohol very much and it is as dirty in the apartment as in the sewers. Slava lives with his mom in the street for a long time already. She also abuses alcohol, doesn't work and makes the boy to beg money for her. Slava often says that he couldn't come to our ministry because his mother wouldn't let him go.
These four children plus Vanja and Dima are the candidates to the new foster family. Please, pray for them and for Nastya. We want to suggest to her to try again to join this new family. What if she agagrees...?
We, Shepherd's Purse, are always praying for this little girl to find her purpose despite having to flee from an abusive home. We are also praying for the kids all over Ukraine and Russia.
One of our prayers is that God will expand our boundaries and give us enough to be generous on all occasions. This has been a busy summer for us. We are just completing the remodeling of our new, small office. We are also wrapping up a new web design and it should be posted soon. Our financial program has been reworked, coats and boots are coming in from various donators, and we are beginning to set up new speaking engagements now. The summer has been tiring, frustrating, and back taxing. Yet, we can see a new level of service developing.
Watch for new developments and journeys ahead
Saturday, August 13, 3005
Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2005 at 16:53
Watching the old video, "What Dreams May Come". Robin Williams wife is lost in a dark place. What sends her there is that her two teen kids are killed in a car crash. Then her husband is ripped away. She can no longer take it.
In his own Heaven or??? Robin seeks to find his wife. In the process he learns many things and finds many people who were part of his life. At one point he is in this ethereal kingdom land, a fantasy of his daughter's life. And suddenly he realizes she is right there with him....he is in her Heaven...and he is part of it. There is a touching reunion.
I sit here wondering...will children like Nastya be there? A world a part right now. How will this story end? What do they, kids like Nastya, dream about? Do they imagine themselves as a princess in an ethereal kingdom? Do they dream of parents who nurture and provide love and food and nice clothes? What does Nastya dream of at night...when she settles into the sewers?
What dreams may come? What will it be like? What can I do...now?
Street kid killed mysteriously
Posted: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 at 13:42
Dear Mr. Wetzel,
It is a special joy for us to be able to share the news of Project Hope. We appreciate your prayers so much.
Project Hope has had a good year so far and also they had a very tragic event that caused the staff and children much grief. Even today as I think about this tragic event, my heart is heavy. I want to tell about this. In one of our former letters last year we wrote the statement below that was sent to us from the staff of Project Hope.
Vova Zaretzki is a good example of a child who was brought by God to our first summer camp in 1998. He's been to every camp since then. He is 18 now. This year he came for the first time as a team-leader. So many things have changed in his life during these seven years. He had never been to school before he came to us in the age of 12. We helped him start and finish school. Now he has a full-time job and supports his younger brother. For several years he goes to church and attends a youth group. That is our prayer for every child that they find their help and support through God and His church.
Vova was killed in a tragic and strange accident when he was hit by a car. About two years before this, a young pastor was hit by a car as he came out of the church. The car seemed to come out of nowhere, hit him and then drove off. There seems to be no direct answers as to what happened with Vova except that he was killed. Vova is the second street child that was helped by Project Hope and was later killed in an accident. The first was a boy named Slava. He came to Project Hope, got saved and turned on for Jesus Christ and was killed in an accident.
These events seem so tragic and hurt so many people. We grieve over this but we, as Christians know, "This life is not the end of it all. God knows about it all and He gave His Son so that we can be in Heaven for eternity if we are born-again through Jesus Christ when we die." These young people were born-again and they are now experiencing the joys of Heaven because they came to Jesus Christ. Our hearts do rejoice in this fact.
You had a part in this and we thank you for your prayers and support of Project Hope's ministry to these street children. Pleases continue to pray.
May God Bless You,
Bob and Esther McCauley
Friday, July 22, 2005
Posted: Friday, July 22, 2005 at 21:17
We just finished watching the video, "Hotel Rwanda". It was the true story of a hero. Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager, provided a safe haven for over 1,200 Tutsis refugees during a genocide ten years ago. This is a true story.
What hurt the most was seeing the enemy targeting children, to stop a new generation of Tutsis. No wait! What hurt just as much--was the Americans and the Europeans who boarded buses and fled for their safety. That wasn't so bad, they were afraid to. What was bad is that the rest of the world watched the holocaust and sat eating pizza while families were decimated.
I guess I was one of those people. However, I have to plead some innocence...I never remember hearing about this story. There were people dying and I didn't know. There were children, back in 1994, who were being targeted by the enemy.
Around that time also, the former Soviet Union broke up. That was about 1991. By 1994 when Rwandan children were being decimated, children in Ukraine and Russia were being cast out into the streets to fend for themselves. That was the year that Nastya hit the streets. Her mom, an alcoholic, would beat her and that is when Nastya finally headed out to begin her life in the sewers. She was four at the time.
Here she is a few weeks ago hugging my buddy Peter. Peter is the great guy that just hiked the Himalayan Mountains as a fundraiser and then took a team to Kherson. He sent this picture to let me know he had, "met up with my old buddy".
I have this picture on my desktop. It tears me up. Why? Because, though this sweet girl looks, clean, happy and well adjusted, I know that a few minutes after the picture was taken, she headed back to her home in the sewers.
Tonight I am frustrated. For two years I have been trying to build this ministry to help kids dying in the streets. I have been trying to raise awareness of this major problem. And tonight I am feeling the problem is too enormous and the help is coming too slowly.
I don't know what to do tonight. I have recognized lately that I somehow need to get a team of volunteers. I can't keep shipping, doing newsletters, trying to remodel a decent office and all the other stuff alone. I need help. I must find a person who actually knows how to handle finances so I can focus on speaking and trips. I need to rebuild my website so it is more interactive...helping to get the word out. Somehow I need to find more money...for a salary...for time. Underwriting? Grants?
So many have been so generous, but the problem is not being overcome. We are touching one heart at a time. That is good. Yet, millions of kids are literally being held in jails, insane asylums and orphanages by the governments of Ukraine and Russia. CNN just did a story on this. Check the site at Love's Bridge. It is true.
How can we not see it? How can we ignore the cries? What can we do? Dear God...expand our boundaries...quick...please.
Good night all. Good night kids
Thursay, July 7, 2005
Posted: Thursday, July 07, 2005 at 08:58
I hope you can open the site below. A great story.
Lives lived below the surface
An editor descends into the sewers of Ukraine to examine a world of despair among the country's street children; but ascends to find hope for their future.
Savannah Morning news July 2, 2005
Much is happening. We have received more new clothes from our friends, Carol and John Lundgren, in Ohio. Carol is the manager of a children's department in a local Walmart store. They have filtered great clothes to us for a year.
We have also received enough donations to send out another shipment of supplies in the next couple of weeks.
Right now our good friend and pastor Peter Billingham is with a group in Kherson, Ukraine. There are 15 people from the U.S. and 10 people from Peter's church in Bromsgrove, England. Our condonlances and support go out to them for the bombings in their homeland this morning.
We pray that the acts of these terroists will not deter Peter's purpose in helping the kids in the streets. This is the purpose of the enemy...to harm the innocents.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 at 08:36
How much time have I spent screaming out at God for dropping me on my head in a darkened well? Of course He didn't drop me there.it was my brothers.it was my own hard headedness. Since 1988 I have been journeying in a sand swept wilderness wondering when the Father would fulfill my dreams. He had told me he would first heal my heart before I would wield the sword.
Now, as I stand humbled in the presence of the king, I look into their eyes and understand. The eyes of the innocents heal my heart. Every moment I spend with their sweet spirits gives me greater growth. I cannot help but crave His presence.
I offer up sacrifices. A cup of water. A bit of cloth. A crumb of bread. They tearfully accept and respond with an eternal hug.
This journey of dark night has been long. It is not over yet, but one thing I am learning - take notice of the sparrows. They flit here and there. For a moment they are in front of me. Unique. Innocent. And then the test takes wing to somewhere else.
This test for tomorrow is today. When did I see you? When did I hold out my hand to you? It is not someday. It is in this moment.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 at 10:36
There have been two very good news reports recently about the street kids. CBN aired one focused on the ministry of Love's Bridge in Perm, Russia. You need to see this. Look in our Resources tab.
We seem to be moving into our summer slump here. Speaking engagements have tapered a bit and other needs for the kids. Yet the kids in the streets are still struggling.
Our current "big" project is collecting: coats, boots/winter shoes, sweaters, hats and gloves. This collection needs to be in our office by September 1st when we will packege them up for shipment by Christmas. Contact us for details and flyers. We need about $1 per pound to be included for shipping.
We also have about 200 lbs of clothes and supplies sitting here now waiting for shipping money. As soon as funds arrive we can get them out.
Other needs: regular monthly supporters (even $10 a month would encourage our ministry), a "new" laptop computer and cabinets and donations for remodeling of our office. Currently, the office is in a basement...good for getting a feel for the sewers. We are remodeling a small room in our home and could use some help.
Our last trip went very well. Many stories! Lots of God moments. Would you like to hear some? Contact us for speaking engagements.
God Bless. Pray for the kids.