declares the Lord...plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Monday, October 18, 2010
Over the weekend we made an offer on the new house for girls, and the offer was accepted! Mel’s House is on a hectare of land, and this new house borders the property. It is much bigger than Mels’ House and in great condition. We are bursting at the seams with 14 boys now, and several are sleeping on the floor. There are also 5 girls crowded into a little “summer kitchen” – a one room shed with no heat. So what we’ve decided to do is to move the boys into the bigger, new house and let the girls move into the small original house. It makes a lot of sense. This way the girls will be closer to house mom Alyona. You can see how much she loves them and she fusses over them like a mother hen: checking to see that they’re dressed warm enough, teaching them to cook, tickling and hugging them. And they love her!
So much has changed since we bought the original house and the boys moved in. The property has turned into a little farm! There is a hen house with chickens and roosters outside crowing. They get about ten eggs each day (necessary when you have to feed that many kids!). They just finished building a new pig house for approximately 11 pigs. One pig is pregnant and due any day, and there are two baby piglets (and boy, can they squeal when you pick them up!) They also confided that another pig, Masha, is now in the freezer There are a number of kittens everywhere, and a dog “Boss”. The boys and housedad Andrei are building a greenhouse which they hope to finish by the time the snow sets in. Right now they just have the frame set up. The land, which was full of trash and overgrown when we bought it, has now been cleared and plowed, and has several apricot, apple and damson plum trees. The kids planted vegetables this past spring and were able to can and pickle whatever they didn’t eat. There is a huge root cellar where this year’s potatoes, carrots and beets are stored.
Last April when we brought a team from Williamsburg Community Chapel, we brought some seed packets for them. Unfortunately, none of them took, except for the sunflowers – and you wouldn’t believe the size of them! Andrei said they were twelve feet tall!! We saw the huge stalks and dried up flowers the size of a large frying pan!
Let me tell you about two of our boys, Sasha and Dima. If you watch our video you will see an interview with Sasha. He is a tall, handsome boy of 18, who always has a smile on his face. He was headed in the wrong direction when he met Andrei and made a decision to ask Christ to change his life. He has grown and changed so much since then! Now he is a leader at Mel’s House. He is strong, but also has a joy that is contagious. The boys respect him and follow his lead. Sasha is a talented artist. He paints, draws and makes these incredible little models of a village that lights up. Yesterday he told me he had a surprise for me. He wanted to give me one of his models. I know he poured his heart into that little village, so I was overwhelmed.
Dima is a shy boy who seems to stand quietly in the back of the room. Once I asked him if I could take his picture, and he got all embarrassed and couldn’t look up at me. He didn’t speak up until we had been there awhile, and then he quietly asked us if we’d like to hear him play piano. We said of course, and then followed him into the other room where an electric keyboard was lying on the floor. Someone told us that the first time he ever played was two months ago. We couldn’t believe our ears! He played us several compositions that he had written himself! They were incredibly beautiful!! We videotaped it and are hoping to figure out how to post it to the website. You won’t believe he just taught himself to play two months ago!
Well, I’m tired now, but we’ll give you more updates as the week goes on…