Dear Sponsors and Donors,

I will be very busy again. Many students are still interested in my teaching them English. So my week hours of teaching will be 28-29 hours per week. It is a lot of work.

I am not sure if i will be able to visit the village orphanages. Let’s pray and see.
Orphanage #8 has been under my care for 11 years now. I love going there and helping the kids and caretakers with their needs. I also help the orphans who left this orphanage and study at collages. They also need attention and care. There are 61 children living at Orphanage #8 right now. Eight orphans have left the orphanage this year because they entered technical school. One boy was taken to a foster family.

My programs for 2009-2010 at this orphanage are:

1. Art classes at the orphanage and art school.
This will be the children’s second year of art classes. Ludmila, the art teacher is going to continue art therapy for 12 boys and 6 girls. Mostly all the kids are aged 8-12. The teaching will be once a week, one hour with each group. First taught will be girls then boys.

I watched with real joy and interest as the children were working on their art classes. It was amazing how interesting the art works can be with the help of the teacher. It was like magic. First as the art begins you see a clean slate, with nothing in the picture. But then gradually something new and beautiful appeared.

I was wondering how kids could become so creative!! At the end of the year they were able to express themselves showing brighter colors in their art works. The first class will be September 8th. I am meeting Ludmila and we will discuss the plan for the year and the art supplies we need to buy. The teacher will get 350 rubles (11.26 USD) per hour, 700 rubles (22.50 USD) per two hours a week.

2. Two orphans Luba and Sasha will continue attending our art school. For Luba it will be the 3rd year of art school. I am still very concerned about her because orphans can’t control their emotions if something does not go well no matter where they are. Not all adults are so patient with such fussy children. She will have art classes two times a week (6 hours of art.)

3. I am going to continue providing swimming pool classes. This will cost 3000 rubles (96.50 USD) a month. Most all orphans are able to go to the swimming pool once a week and some boys are taking professional swimming classes. This sport has helped the orphans to become stronger. The orphans are not having as many illnesses and sicknesses now.

4. The boys attending art classes will start learning English next week too. I ordered the books for them, bought copybooks (composition books.) They will have two classes a week. Their teacher will be a disabled girl Anna. She graduated from the university and works as a translator for missionaries from America. I got to know her at VBS School this summer when my missionary friends came to Khabarovsk this summer and we worked with children at the Christian school.

Anna can’t walk without crutches. So she will take a taxi. I will pay her 250 rubles (8.00 USD) per 1 hour and 200 rubles (6.43 USD) for the taxi each time. So it will be 500 rubles (16.08 USD) a week and 400 (12.87 USD) rubles for taxi a week.
I think she is a very reliable girl and is very interested to help me and work with orphans.

5. The boys will also have knitting once a week. Their teacher’s name is Tatiana. She is on vacation right now and will be in Khabarovsk next week. I plan on helping the boys to continue knitting. They will knit scarves, mittens, and socks for themselves. I am going to provide the teacher with yarn, and also pay her 250 rubles (8.00 USD) for one class a week.

6. There is a new caretaker Ekaterina who helps the kids to work on the computer. These teachers are interested in making a group from orphans and teach them origami. This is Japanese art to fold the paper and make different objects. This is a good way to involve the kids. Origami teaches attention, patience and motor skills. I am going to pay for the paper. There will be 10 kids in her group.

7. I gave some money to pay workbooks for the kids for school. These working books are to be bought every year for the kids no matter if they are from families or orphans. It is a big problem for the orphanages to buy these books. This is a very important purchase.

8. I bought some books in the summer. Theses books are classic Foreign Literature for children. I have talked with the director about planning time for each orphan to read 30 minutes every day. The director liked this idea. I would like to help the orphans to make a good reading a habit.

9. I am helping Anzhela and Yana who are studying at the railway collage. I am going to provide Anzhela ‘s tutoring. This year is her last year at college. She is going to enter the railway academy and needs help in math and physics. I give the girls money for food and clothes every month.

10. The kids at the orphanage participate in different celebrations every month (holiday, birthdays, guests, etc…) It is a big problem every year to buy treats, sweets, snacks, and cakes and to find money for flour and oil. So we talked with the director and found out that it will better idea just to buy flour, oil, maybe some vanilla, yeast, jam, cinnamon, raisins and the orphans will be able to cook themselves with the help of the caretakers rather then buying the treats and take everything for granted. I am going to provide the orphans with those ingredients. I am very excited about that idea.

That’s probably all. I will continue writing my updates.

Lena continues her ministry with the orphans of Khabarovsk and surrounding villages. Her amazing faith and endurance continues to be a personal inspiration and this spreads to everyone that hears her story. She has managed to overcome great obstacles of health and bureaucracy to build a ministry that not only helps with the physical needs of the orphans, but also provides educational and spiritual guidance that continues after orphans have graduated from the orphanage system. In addition to her tireless work with orphans, Lena tutors students in English in her home and she teaches English in a private Christian School in the city.

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