Treasures of the Heart

Providing Humanitarian Aid for Orphans, Sick Children, and Children in Need.
Russia, Republic of Georgia, Sri Lanka, India, and Haiti

Contact Us:  (409) 898-1937
Email Updates - 2009
Summary of our journey at Barskoe Gorodische Orphanage, Suzdal region
For the entire journal, click here.

We were shocked by the conditions the kids were existing in on our first visit to Barskoe Gorodische Orphanage near Suzdal in 1998. This orphanage was the home to kids with little or no future.  Most have lower mental skills and little opportunity for success.  To make their situation more complicated, the government decided to close the only home they knew. The director, Alex, countered with plan...if they continued to pay the workers, he would find a way to feed and clothe the kids.  They agreed to let him try. He found us and we were honored to help. 

The only restroom had no plumbing, essentially an indoor outhouse.  The fumes permeated the school house and meeting areas.  The dorms were freezing, not because the lack of heat, but because the windows allowed the cold to blow straight through. The kids were sleeping 2 to a bed as their feet hung over the foot boards.  The cafeteria foundation was sinking into the nearby river.  Even the rats were struggling to survive due to the lack of food, the cupboards were literal bare.  We saw the challenge and chose to get involved.    

When we formed Treasures in 2000, Barskoe became our major concern. The simplest, easiest, and fastest to accomplish was beds and bedding.  We could show the kids someone had seen the needs and had purposed to help.  A new concept for the dorms was bunk beds with shelves, hooks and drawers were built.  Doubling the floor space and giving each kid their first personal, albeit small, space.  We gave them feather bed coverlets and pillows for each bed and purchased sheets and towels when we visited to inspect the beds.

Now, we needed to provide warmth for the kids.  Each dorm needed new roofs, windows, floors, repaired, painted walls, and their first flushing toilets.  With the completion of these projects, heat remained inside the bedrooms.

The most complicated project was the 300 year old building housing mud room, wash up area, dining room, kitchen, and pantry.  It was a historical building, so legally we had to refurbish instead of rebuilding.  The roof had failed years before causing water damage in the dining room, a new roof and ceiling solved the problem.  New piers and retaining walls stabilized the kitchen from total collapse.  Next, we repaired the walls, ceilings, floors, and fixtures with new up to date materials. Ancient appliances were replaced with restaurant quality equipment.  Knifes, silverware, pots, pans, dishes, bowls, tables, you name it and we updated it with first class quality.  Our mandate is "first fruits".  We serve a King "with the cattle on a thousand hills". We believe a gift should be a treasure not something we would discard, which is what we have given them.  At times, we have had to be stern with the staff...they want to put the gifts up for special occasions.  Everyday is a special occasion, use them now, tomorrow is not guaranteed! 

While doing all this, we have also outdated all piping to the entire orphanage, provided a new tractor, American seeds for vegetable gardens, fruit orchards, bee hives, farm animals, sewing machines, play rooms, boots, clothing, brought in a team of dentists, commercial washer, and much more.  We have several major projects awaiting funding:

  • Showers and toilets available for daytime usage
  • Flooring for dining room
  • Teaching woodworking shop
  • Laundry room
  • Gym for use during winter
  • Playground

To God be the Glory, great things He has done!
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts." Zechariah 4:6
We are so honored to have been a small part of this transformation.

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2000 - 2011 Treasures of the Heart, Inc

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