Orphan Teens Celebrate Christmas at Club

We received this letter from Voronezh, Russia last week, telling of how the orphan teenagers celebrated Christmas at their new transitional ministry center. The kids call it the ?You Are Not Alone Club?.

Dear Robert and Ann!
Happy New Year to you! May God bring many wonderful blessings into your life this year! Thank you for your care and your faithfulness to God and the ministry He started here in Voronezh.

Today is Jan.4th. We are at the Club but kids have not shown up yet. I took time to send you our Christmas pictures and write this letter.

Our celebration on Dec.28th was wonderful! Both kids and us loved it from the beginning to the end. Kids started coming earlier then they were told to come - they were so eager to start the holyday. They gave gifts to each other and to us - workers and volunteers. I was amazed and shocked by how giving they were.

They all are so poor and have just enough to eat on but they saved money for gifts. It reminded me about the widow that gave all she had - 2 small coins to God but her example went through the history. I will never forget how generous they were and how happy they were seeing others opening their presents. God gave me a lesson and even now I have tears in my eyes.

We had a wonderful program for them. We sang songs, played games, had a drama where they played as actors, my Zhenya played guitar for them. They participated too. Two Maxims played balalaika for us - Russian and Jewish music, Zhenya Minakov recited poems.

I think kids saw that they are loved very much here. We had a great table. I am sure that not many people now can see so much tasty food on their tables. We even had red fish sandwiches! There was so much food that we had to give it to kids to take home. God is good!

They all came with at least one bag of presents. When they were leaving they said:" We came with one bag and we leave with two bags of presents. It is amazing!". We talked about Jesus and His love for all of us. We will talk about Christmas again on Jan.7 - Russian Christmas. We will invite kids to go to church with us that morning. I hope we will have a few come.

I translated and read out loud your letter to us during our program. They were so quite listening to it. I think it is very unusual to them that someone across the ocean remembers and loves them.

It is a ministry that pleases God! Praise be to Him for allowing us to be a part of it!

Ludmila and Sasha and Zhenya are sending their greetings and love.
Blessinga to you,
Alina