Jill Tyson, Stoneworks Board member, recently returned from a trip to Belarus, leading a small team.  Here are some of her thoughts about Spring of Revival and Minsk Family Home —

"our girls" together with Minsk Family Home girls in Minsk city center - having fun on New Year's Eve 2011

Doing crafts at foster home in Treskovstichina

New Year 2011 in Belarus was incredible, and even though our schedule was jam-packed, we were able to accomplish much and felt overall that all goals for mission and ministry were met.  The work there is GOOD. Olga’s family and staff are GOOD.  God is GOOD and we should support for the programs there with much hearty effort.

Minsk Family Home (MFH) naturally evolved from the ministry that Spring of Revival (SOR) has to Belarusian orphans.  Over time the children grew, and the staff of SOR saw a need to provide a safe home where young women who were too old to stay in the orphanage could live and study.  Most importantly, they saw a need for a place where young women could continue to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ.

Shelter at Stankovo - organizing donations before visiting children

Originally, we were projecting a monthly budget of $1,350.  Praise God!  Even in these hard economic times, each month the operating costs of the home has been around $1,000!  Not only is the home operating on a smaller budget than anticipated, the home is truly making an eternal impact on many people.

One of the components of the program is for the girls to serve in the orphanages, visiting and encouraging young children in Christ.  Olga says that she didn’t expect the girls to be so enthusiastic, but that every month the girls ask to go several times, and they are always coming up with unique ideas for ministry, new games, recipes, etc…!

Baby hospital at Borovlyani

The girls are also always open to having younger orphans come into their home and spend the weekend.  Currently the home has one counselor, Alesya and four girls: Kate, Masha, Alona and Alla.  My daughter and I spent New Year’s Eve 2011 with the girls.  We also took them bowling and out to eat one night.  I can give first account witness that the girls are growing in God and seeking His will for their lives.

New Year's Feast at MFH

In closing I’d like to give a personal opinion.  Through the Presbyterian Church and various Chernobyl related missions, I’ve been active in ministry to Belarusian children and families since 1998, and have been to Belarus many times.  I can’t see a more worthwhile mission than to encourage the next generation of believers to grow strong in Christ in Belarus. Minsk Family Home seeks this mission and lives it out in its very existence.  Our base of support gives wings to the ministry.

New Year's Eve celebration at Stankovo orphanage