Dear Mission 1:27 Family,
One of life’s greatest virtues is the capacity to care. You – through your sponsorship, letter writing, prayer, travel, and donations – have shown that you care about the children in Slobodskoy and their lives outside the walls of the orphanage. For caring and sharing your time and resources, I am very thankful for each of you.
2011 has been a busy year for Mission 1:27. Sponsorship, prayers and letter writing remain invaluable as they allow the children to receive a taste of family. Your efforts have been important for modeling something which does not come easy for these children – a sense of purpose and the capacity to trust. Currently, 77 of 81 children have sponsors; please continue to write regularly, keep current with your payments, and let’s be intentional in finding sponsors for the 4 unsponsored children.
While keeping child sponsorship as a top priority, God has increased our vision to begin expanding into the issues related to preparation for leaving the orphanage and transitioning into society post-orphanage. With each travel trip to Slobodskoy, more understanding is gleaned, relationships grow, and God’s vision and purpose for these children and this mission gains clarity.
From the last two trips, most recently in Spring 2011, we now know that this mission involves not only the children at the orphanage but also their lives in the outside world. We must be attentive and develop relationships with the caregivers and teachers; through this both their lives and children’s lives are impacted. Please be in prayer for the 2011 Fall travel team being led by Doug Kubel. That trip leaves October 22 and includes some new travelers, including new members of our Mission 1:27 family from Virginia and Florida. You can expect the usual flurry of blog posts leading up to and during the exciting journey back to Russia.
On the home front, generous donations and funds raised in the 2010 fundraising event “To Russia with Love” have allowed programs for preparing the children for graduation and life outside the orphanage. Some of these programs are listed below:
- Preparing soon to be orphanage graduates in life skills training and providing necessity gifts such as a hot plate, blanket, and tea pot.
- Purchasing/installation of a sound system to enhance the children’s creativity, confidence and talent through music, public speaking, drama, and special performances.
- Purchasing mandatory books instrumental for establishing a 10th grade at the orphanage which allows an additional year and time for maturation, education and life skills training before leaving the orphanage.
- Establishing a series of 9 programs with goals and assessment criteria designed to nourish the talents of each child.
- Funding of a Ministry Center in the Kirov Tech School that will provide a safe place for orphan graduates to gather and be mentored as they adjust to life outside the orphanage.
Finally, I hope you will mark your calendar and make plans to attend a fun and festive evening at our second annual Russian theme party, “To Russia with Love,” at Pazzo! in Southern Village on Friday, November 4th from 7:30-10:00 pm. This evening is a time for fun, bringing together current and new people into the Mission 1:27 community and raising necessary funds which are monitored and carefully positioned toward life-impacting programs. Last year’s event was hugely successful on all fronts and we look forward to another special evening this year. Won’t you join us? We would miss you if you didn’t attend!
If you would like to support the event beyond your attendance, there are a couple of wonderful opportunities to do so. First of all, there will be a silent auction at this fundraiser; donations of services or goods valued at $100 or more are needed. Additionally, we would love to have volunteers who could help with planning and/or during the event; please contact Kim Hanlon at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to provide any support for this important event.
From the bottom of my heart, I give thanks for you and your family for caring about the lives of young girls and boys in the Slobodskoy Orphanage and the Kirov region of Russia. Your support helps them feel so loved and enables them to better understand God’s purpose for their lives.
With humble gratitude,
Chair of Mission 1:27
P.S. This blog will start to get more active in the coming weeks, so look for more updates soon. Including our first email newsletter as well as a personal video invitation to our “To Russia with Love” fundraiser from a very special friend of Mission 1:27! Make sure you subscribe to our blog and newsletter as you won’t want to miss any of the updates. Thanks again!