ON THE STREETS
This video “On the Streets,” is 2 minutes and 22 seconds. It’s not for children to view. Filmed in a location where street kids live in Odessa, Ukraine it shows the needles, condoms, drugs and living conditions in an abandoned building. I narrate it and close it with a statement of goals for 2011. (see goals listed farther below)
I am writing you from the States. I have taken a postion as the Interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland, Maryland. It is a beautiful church with a history that goes back to 1810, with wonderful people, a progressive theology and an overseas mission program that rivals churches of any size. Any pastors reading this, please be watching for a CIF to be circulated this Spring. While serving with this congregation as they seek a new pastor, I will raise support for This Child Here from churches and individuals in the Western Maryland, Baltimore-Washington DC area. Here’s a photo of Yulia and I from the local newspaper and photo of the church. We will return to Ukraine for several weeks in the spring and in the fall to meet with staff from The Way Home and check on programs.
MARIAM IN UNIVERSITY
Below is Mariam, the first student to go to college from The Way Home. And the first student This Child Here is funding in university. Alla, our psychologist, is serving as a mentor for her. Christ Presbyterian Church in Ormond Beach Florida gave funds for her tuition this year.
NEW DIRECTORS OF THE BOARD
Please welcome Mary Brueggemann, Margie Schlageter and Gary McAtee as our newest Directors of the Board for This Child Here.
Mary Miller Brueggemann is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ. She is presently working as a Pastoral Assistant at Morningside Presbyterian Church PCUSA. Mary lives in Decatur, GA. She has two sons: Jim Brueggemann and his wife Lisa who live in Davidson, NC with their children Ana and August, and John Brueggemann and his wife Christina who live in Saratoga Springs, NY. They have three children, Emilia, Anabelle and Peter. Along with her support of This Child Here, Mary is on the Board of Directors for Our House Inc in Atlanta, an early childhood education center for homeless children..
Margie Schlageter is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Daytona Beach, Fl, and is retired after 30 years with The Daytona Beach News-Journal as a columnist and staff writer. Aside from having two handsome sons, Chris and Matthew, she has two precious granddaughters, and a husband, Tom, who is retired as a math professor at Daytona State College and never gives up on those Seminoles of Florida State.
Gary McAtee is a realestate developer from Dallas, Texas. Gary came to Ukraine in the summer of 2010 with plans to stay three weeks. Instead he stayed three months. Here he is with a hawke on his arm at the park in downtown Odessa.
Would you like to give a gift on behalf of another this Christmas? This Child Here is offering a list of gifts you can give for the holidays; the form and photos at the bottom of this email give you a better idea of what we buy.
Gift Cost Qty Total
School supplies: $5 Buys a package of school supplies.
After-school activity: $5 Pays for one class. Children are allowed to select one after-school activity
to participate in. They are currently taking dance, breakdance, piano,
parkour, and guitar lessons. ( $25 pays for a full month.)
Toilet Articles: $10 Pays for one plastic bag filled with soap, shampoo, tooth brush, hair brush
Birthday party: $20 Donation includes a gift, food and refreshments.
Alternatives to Violence seminar
$20 Pays for one seminar session for children who live in an institution or
shelter. For more information about the Alternatives to Violence seminar,
please visit www.thischildhere.org.
Winter jacket: $25 Donation buys one warm winter jacket.
New shoes: $35 Donation buys one new pair of shoes or boots.
Sport Supplies: $50 Pays for Basketballs, soccer balls, table tennis, bicycle parts, garage rental.
You can send a check and indicate what you would like to give, or you can go to www.thischildhere.org , click on the donate button and send a message with your donation. Note: you dont have to join paypal to donate by credit card.
In Ukraine, there is a great opportunity with … BICYCLES. We have former street kids, social orphans and kids from “at risk” families who can clean, repair and sell good used bicycles, learn a trade, make some income, and enhance their self-esteem.
If you live in the southeast USA, can you donate at least one good used bicycle? THIS DONATION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE. We are looking for good used bikes; they can be many years old, with flat tires, broken cables and bent rims, but they need to have good quality frames, ie: Trek, Schwinn, GT, Giant, Nishika, Cannondale, Specialized, etc, aluminum or light weight frames. We cannot take Huffy, Sears or Walmart brand bikes as they are heavy, they soon break, and the market here is already flooded with them. I am hoping to collect 200 bikes between Sept 2010 and February 2011.
Please email me if you can help. firstname.lastname@example.org
GOALS FOR 2011
-Support of street kids and social orphans of Odessa: clothes, medicine, after school activities, camp supplies in cooperation with The Way Home.
-Sending teams into Orphanages and shelters throughout the Odessa region to work with children on issues of personal Boundaries, Addictions, Self esteem, Identity and Love or (life in community).
-Training of trainers and funding of foster families; I hope to place as many kids as possible. Essentially, the government has many new laws promoting foster care, but no one seems to be doing anything about it.
-Opening of a bicycle shop to repair and sell used bicycles donated from the states.
This sustainable business will support itself, provide income for kids who work there and prepare some youth for a future in bicycles–a rapidly growing means of transportation in Ukraine.
GRACE AND PEACE,
I close with a poem by Rilke
Go to the Limits of Your Longing”
by Rainer Maria Rilke; translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.