Christmas at Belarus
We were able to attend the beginning of a low key Christmas gathering organized by two sisters, aimed at Chernobyl orphans. As previously reported, there is a huge incidence of thyroid and other cancers as the long term consequence of the Chernobyl disaster. Whole areas of Southern Belarus, where we have several Brethren and Sisters, are uninhabitable and certainly unable to produce crops which would pass the most basic EU safety regulations. The tragedy of the area is somewhat overlooked in the face of so many other international tragedies. We have several Brethren and Sisters sick as a result of radiation and some have died. We are grateful for vitamins and financial aid which has been sent to those in need.
The Christmas Bible School for children was wonderful. The CBM had kindly donated copies of the Russian Christadelphian Sunday School lessons, and the CCM are grateful for their cooperation in this. Some of the 13 and 14-year- olds are really switched on and responded enthusiastically to our discussions about ‘The meaning of Jesus for today’, demonstrating some good Bible knowledge. We were able to distribute T-shirts donated from the UK, and also Bible Basics rulers and Bible reading calendars, encouraging them to read daily according to the Companion. God willing, we will seek to continue supporting the Chernobyl orphans and young people in the area, as they continue to study weekly with a local sister. To top it all, we were able to interview and baptize ANDREJ, a highly educated and intelligent 49 year old man who has truly come to the Lord in Truth.
Sis Danita who also, alas, is a cancer victim, struggles to help the Belarus children with Sunday School lessons and games. A couple of years ago she also organized a Bible camp for young people, but was unable to do so last year because of lack of resources.