Mike Cantrell reports:

I’m in Jõhvi, Estonia for couple of days; Vladimir and Marijana Cizmanski from Montenegro have just arrived, and after seeing our work in Estonia they will visit Russia. I’ll have news about their trip soon.

We had a meeting of the leadership of Sunbeam (the center for children with disabilities we are opening in Estonia), and we have a lot of news.

Several local city and county governments are planning to participate in the program. They have pledged funds to help with operating expenses once we’re open. The staff are doing a good job preparing for the program. Many people in the community are very enthusiastic about the work.

As is very often the case, this big renovation project is taking longer than we first thought and costing more than we expected. The work that has been done so far is excellent, and we’re heading into the final push to finish the renovation and open the center.

To be honest, donations have just about dried up over the summer, and we trust that God is providing what is needed when it’s needed.

Cold weather is around the corner, and we’ll be finishing up the heating system. The local methadone center (which helps drug addicts) has a program helping drug users learn building skills. They provide funds and workers for four weeks. We’ll have four workers fixing up the old heating system; this includes removing 20 old iron radiators, cleaning them, installing new pipes and valves and connecting them to the new system. We’ve already installed in-floor heating in many rooms, and that system is ready to be connected. Two men who minister to drug addicts, Gosha and Vitalic, will serve as mentors. So, in a month we should have the heating system up and running.

We need to at least finish one room so we can start the program (the total needed for that is below). As you can see from the pictures, a couple of rooms are very close to being ready. The offices and therapy rooms are another matter, but we don’t need them in order to have children. We have some other rooms we can use as offices and therapy rooms until we finish everything.

We have also applied for a couple of grants that may help take care of our needs:

1) We have applied to Swiss National Foundation of Civil Society (KÜSK), for a grant to cover our first year’s activities (salaries, supplies, utilities, operations, etc) but not construction. We will receive an answer at the end of September. If we get that grant, then final program prep will start in November (signing agreement with families, final arrangements for staffing, etc), and we’ll have children in the center in December.

We’ll need money to complete the renovation and the city of Johvi has offered some help. This is where the next grant comes in —

2) The National Lottery has funds for programs like ours, and it seems like we have a good chance to receive a grant. We’re applying for 31,000 euros to finalize all the building renovation; this grant comes with an additional 15% matching grant from the city administration.

 Here are amounts needed to finish the first room:

floor — $1400

ceilings (hallways) — $700

shower room — $500

electric/alarm — $1800

painting — $250

ramps — $5000

window coverings — $130

kitchen, sofas, chairs, storage, special tables, lockers, etc. — about $9000

It’s been great to be a part of this process, and I look forward to the joy we’ll have and share as we help children and their families at Sunbeam.