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


Stephanie and I subscribe to the Eastern Europe Adoption Coalition (EEAC), EEADOPT.ORG, where information is shared about Russian orphanages.  In May, a lady from Israel posted a letter about her experience with a Baby House in Tikhvin, Russia.  Tikhvin is a small logging village in northeast Leningrad Province, 125 miles east of St. Petersburg.  She wrote:

May 14, 2004

My recent experience in the Detsky dom in Tikhvin opened my eyes (well, my nose) to the stench of starvation.  On our first trip, exact date was March 11 of this year, we were allowed to spend two hours with our then daughter-to-be in a toy room.  Being as they used panties and tights on her, then 16.5 months old, she peed on me - not once, but twice.  Both times, I left the room in order to find a change of clothing for her.  Once, wandering in the hallway, I went into a room to see if there was anyone inside.  Upon opening the door, I absolutely gagged in disgust, gasping for breath, lest I puke - the odor was not one I'd ever smelled, but it wasn't of urine & feces, it was something I'd never smelled before.  The walls were lined with children in cribs.  I showed the caretaker the wet clothing and she gave me different garments.  The second time she peed, I knocked on the Director's door for help.

A few weeks later, when we came to bring her home, we were again allowed into the 'internal rooms' in order to film where she'd been living those last six months of her life.  Less bright & cheery, but the facilities again seemed 'adequate.'  But there was, in that room, a more faint odor of the one I'd previously gagged on.  On our way to St. Petersburg, this time bundled into a diaper and layers of clothing, I asked the driver twice to stop so I could diaper her - I was sure the stink was a bowel movement.  Nope, just urine.  But it was the same smell I'd smelled in that foul room.  It took almost 24 hrs. for her urine to lose that odor.  Upon returning home, when I described it to a nurse friend of mine, she said, "Oh, sure, that's advanced ketosis - the smell of starvation."

On our first trip, I saw a 2 yr. old boy from Tikhvin who was about the size of a 1 yr. old.  On our second trip, while we were spending time with our new daughter before removing her from the detsky dom, we saw a group of about 8 or 10 impossibly tiny children ( as in, it defied logic that they could be upright!) walking in a row, not making a peep! 

Please do not misunderstand me:  this is NOT to say don't accept a referral from Tikhvin.  If anything, RUN to get those children out of there as quickly as possible.

Needless to say, her letter lit a fire down deep in us.  I immediately emailed the lady asking for the director’s name and phone number. We wanted to send Vitaly to make a preliminary visit with them until we could make the trip ourselves.  To our shock and disbelief, the lady would not help us. 

I contacted her again, explaining our nine years of dealing with officials.  Even after explaining how God opens doors of opportunity, as well as closing doors when our help has been misappropriated, I was unable to convince her we are not Christian Pollyanna's.  Again, she said no.  Well, we were sure this was our job. 

Satan has been working overtime to prevent us from finding these children. We sent out dozens of emails to mayors, agencies, and anyone we could think of, all to no avail. 

On July 25, we posted on Prayer Beacon about the hunt, requesting prayer that we would find the orphanage, and be able to work with them. On July 30, from the tiny country of Moldova, where he is translating for an American pastor, Vitaly made contact with the Education Director for the Tikhvin region!  

The Education Director requested a meeting with Vitaly, about Treasures, before he would approve our visit.  Oh, did I mention, funds are already coming in earmarked for baby needs? 

Hopefully, Vitaly can give him our Russian references by phone, saving us traveling expenses to send him to the region.  If the Lord allows, we will be in Tikhvin on January 4 - 5.  We have found it is better to personally deliver formula, food, medicines, and critical needs, than to leave money trusting the purchases will be made. 

We are so excited about the prospects of new horizons.  Please, pray with us about:

  1. Vitaly can make all contact by phone to cut down on the expenses.
  2. The director to be open to our visit.
  3. Protection as we travel on the winter roads.
  4. Funds to accomplish this task.

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