Unexpected friendship leads to Christ

Madison, Wisc. (K4K) – Sometimes it’s amazing to see God work. What seems like a coincidence becomes God’s perfect plan when you see the whole story. That’s the case with Sonja and Kathryn, who have an uncommon friendship that could only have been orchestrated by God’s hand.

Sonja is from Madison, Wisconsin. About three years ago this 74-year-old woman was waiting to be taken home from the hospital when another woman introduced her to the Keys for Kids devotional and asked if she could use a copy. Sonja says she jumped at the offer, as she was discipling a little neighbor girl, Kathryn, who was from a Buddhist family.

Sonja told us that when she began working with Kathryn, the young girl didn’t know what a manger was and referred to the cross as a “God thing.” Now that’s all changed.

Kathryn writes, “When I was six years old, I asked Jesus to be my Savior and come into my heart. This summer at five-day club I dedicated my whole life to the Lord. One of the ways to grow and please the Lord is to read His Word and pray. I read Keys for Kids every day and look up the Bible verses. Thank you for this wonderful devotional.

Now nine years old, Kathryn realizes what a gift God gave her in providing Sonja, her “neighbor granny,” to introduce her to Christ. Sonja said, “When we were leaving the house to go to the car, she said to me, ‘I sure am glad I got to know you. If I hadn’t gotten to know you, I wouldn’t know Jesus.’”

Your support allows us to not only meet the needs of our current programs but also launch new ones. Our new mobile app, the Keys for Camps follow-up program, and a new Keys for Kids Radio website (keysforkids.net) were all initiatives that are igniting a passion for Christ in kids and their families.

If you’d like to support our work, go to keysforkids.org/donate to help.

Keys for Kids will reach millions more


Greg Yoder in the Keys for Kids studio recording Parent Minute.

Grand Rapids, Mich (KFK) — In just a few days I will be celebrating eight months in my current roll as executive director at Keys for Kids Ministries. While that’s not a lot of time when you consider I had spent 20 years at my previous ministry, it’s very little time when you consider all that God is doing at Keys for Kids Ministries.

Each month I write a thank-you note to each donor. This month, I was encouraged by the KFK team to write something more personal — to share my heart. I was told, “Write something that will excite our friends, because we’re excited.” Then I started thinking, wow, God has allowed us to do a lot of things in these short eight months. And we have some amazing opportunities ahead of us if funding, people, and God allow it. So, here are the highlights of the previous eight months.

In January, Uncle Charlie retired from from being on the air on Keys for Kids Radio. We said hello to Zach, who has hosted Down Gilead Lane for years. Who is Zach? He’s a guy all the church kids love. He’s that 20-something young man everyone looks up to. He helps out with youth ministry, he’s the camp counselor at summer camp, and he’s involved in just about every activity where volunteers are needed at church.

That same month, Keys for Kids Ministries launched two new radio programs and relaunched another one. One is called Keys for Kids 60. It’s a radio feature that’s similar to our Keys for Kids 4 1/2-minute broadcast, but much shorter. Radio stations were asking for it. We also retooled the 4 1/2 with new music. Zach hosts both broadcasts. Because of his concern about biblical illiteracy in the church, Zach is passionate about the need for children to know God’s Word. We also launched Parent Minute. I’m the host for that. It’s a different kind of broadcast. I’m an average parent and grandparent who’s succeeded and failed. The goal is to talk about those successes and failures to other parents and grandparents with the prayer that we can learn something from each other. Since it’s focused on Scripture, God is leading our time together.

Keys for Kids Radio (keysforkids.net) also made some programming changes to help make our friends in Europe, Africa, and Australia happy. Our radio coordinator Dylan Kraayenbrink has created 24 hours of quality programming for kids to enjoy. No longer will children in Australia be hearing lullabies in the afternoon when it’s midnight in the US. They’ll get to hear all of their favorite music and programs, too. Already we’re seeing more kids listening in these areas of the world. We just received a story from a mother in New Zealand whose two children gave their hearts to Christ within eight weeks of listening.


Keys for Camps webpage at keyforkids.org

This month we’re officially launching our Keys for Camps program. While the launch is a pilot program this summer, the desire is to help thousands of young people develop a devotional life every day. We’re doing that by partnering with Christian camps. When a young person goes to one of these partnering camps, they’ll receive a Keys for Kids devotional. The camp will teach them how to use it each day at camp, then when they go home they’ll finish the devotional. Each quarter thereafter they’ll receive their Keys for Kids devotional at home with a custom cover from their summer camp and a message from their friends encouraging them to stay in God’s Word. We’re starting with just four camps this summer, but we’re hoping that dozens and dozens will join us next summer.

In November, the Keys for Kids Ministries board approved our KFK translation policy. The goal is to encourage ministries in other nations to translate Keys for Kids devotionals into other languages. However, it’s a partnership. While the ministry leaders in that country are doing the translation (text and audio), Keys for Kids is supporting them with graphic design to produce a quality devotional booklet they can use to:

1. Share Christ with kids.

2. Promote their ministry.

3. Provide a revenue stream as they become the distribution hub of children’s ministry material in their country.

Keys for Kids, meanwhile, will print the devotionals here in the US, allowing short-term mission teams to use them as they travel into these nations, or as they reach out to immigrants in North America. The audio produced by these translators will be used on audio Bible devices. Organizations are telling us there is a huge demand for children’s Bible stories in audio. We’re hoping to launch Keys for Kids on the audio devices in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Greek, and Macedonian before the end of the year.

This month, Keys for Kids will be sending out our first newsletter. It’s called KeyNews. I’m not a fan of the name, but that’s what it’s called for now. At least twice a year you’ll be receiving information about the amazing things God is doing through Keys for Kids Ministries. You’ll hear reports on young people coming to Christ. You’ll read why donors are excited about this ministry. We’ll feature stories about new programs and special opportunities that need prayer and financial support. However, these newsletters are NOT about raising money. They’re about keeping you informed.

So, a lot has happened. We’re also in the middle of what we’re calling the Keys for Kids Growth Initiative. We’re trying to raise a little more than $200,000 to update all of our Keys for Kids technology, which will prepare us for future growth in the mobile app world as well as technology we don’t even know about yet. We’re very close to meeting that goal. If you’d like to invest in the Growth Initiative, please get in touch with me. I’d love to talk to you about it.

Are we raising moral kids, or godly ones?

Teach your kids the Truth.

Teach your kids the Truth.

Grand Rapids, Mich. (KFK) — All Christians want to raise moral children. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with that. We all want our children to know the difference between right and wrong and good and bad. But, are we placing too high a priority on morality and not enough attention on Grace alone, through faith alone, though Christ alone?

Now that I’m involved in children’s ministry, I’ve noticed a lot of children’s devotionals, Sunday school material, and other youth curriculum is light on Grace, Faith and Christ alone theology and heavy on works theology. In other words, much of today’s youth discipleship material teaches kids that they need to do something in order to be saved. They need to say a prayer, stop sinning, be good, and love people in order to be saved.

While all of these things are good things to do in our response to God’s gift of salvation, the reality is we can’t do anything to earn our salvation. Ephesians 2:18 says, “For it is by grace you are saved through faith. It is not from yourself. It is a gift from God. Not of works, so no man can boast.”

Scripture is also clear about our salvation. Ephesians 2:1-7 says the Lord owes us nothing but justice and wrath. While faith is something we exercise, it’s not something that gets us to heaven. It’s actually a gift given to us by the Father in order for us to choose Christ in the first place. How is it that we can even get to the point of conversion? John 6:44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.”

At Keys for Kids, we’re providing stories that help kids 6-12 understand Scripture. Those devotionals translate into our radio features heard on radio stations around the world. Our goal is to fight the works theology mindset and focus on the Gospel of Christ. We want young people to know that salvation is an amazing gift. We want them to be thankful for their salvation. So much so that they begin asking, “Why am I a Christian, but my sister isn’t?” Or, “Why is it that a Muslim terrorist in Syria has a dream about Jesus and turns to Him, while a radical Hindu in India doesn’t?

We want young people to be so thankful that God has saved them that they can’t help but share the Good News with their family, friends and even strangers they meet. Frankly, I hope that excitement spills over to their brothers and sisters, moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas.

In 2015, 180,000 Keys for Kids Devotional books were sent to children, families and churches around the world. Hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) more pages were read on our website, daily email and our Keys for Kids app.

If you have a child in your life, sign up to get your complementary copy of our quarterly Keys for Kids devotional. While it is free, we’re asking people like you to help fund this ministry with your gift of $25, $100 or even $1,000 to help us produce even more devotionals. Click here to get your devotional.

If you don’t have children this age in your life, but you want to help Keys for Kids grow, we’re quietly launching the Keys for Kids Growth Initiative. It’s a $206,700 initiative that will help Keys for Kids develop and upgrade our technological infrastructure which will power our new robust mobile app, website, online games, 24/7 radio network, while positioning two areas of ministry to be self-sustaining. We already have commitments of $100,000, your gift of $10,000, $25,000 or $50,000 will help propel Keys for Kids Ministries into a bright future — a future where the truth of Scripture is needed more today than ever.

If you’d like to get involved in this larger goal, click here.

When Will America Wake Up?

When Will America Wake Up?

I’m not the kind of person that believes in conspiracy theories. I’m not gullible. I’m the kind of person who believes Americans are Americans first, and political party affiliation second. But, I’m not sure I believe that any more. Let me explain why.

While I wasn’t alive during World War 2, the stories I hear about the country coming together out of patriotism and love for our country are incredible. Everybody gave up something for the cause of winning the war.  While it wasn’t a pretty time in our country’s history, Americans were opposed to communism and Marxism following the war. They wanted to protect our nation from radicals who wanted to change our country’s foundation. We’re a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. There are many in our nation who want the country of the government, by the government and for the government.

Today, the Democrats appear more interested in supporting the top of the party rather than protecting America. Republicans are, too. They’re more interested in capitulating their values and appeasing those opposed to our foundation. I believe there are political leaders who who to change our constitution, rather than protect and defend it.

Why can’t both parties just stop with the political battles and start asking the question, “What’s best for our nation?” Why is it ever better to implement a program that isn’t sustainable? When is it better for a country to give something to it’s citizens its citizens don’t want? Why is it better for a country to ignore the mistakes of other nations, and repeat their mistakes. Why is it we allow a president (any president) to circumvent the constitution through executive order. What do I mean?

The Constitution clearly states the Congress passes and approves laws, NOT the president. The president should be allowed to change implementation dates, passes laws, to tell the justice department NOT to enforce certain laws, just because the president says so. Those should be impeachable offenses, wouldn’t you agree?

The frustrating part of all this is that Americans are ignorant. Nearly half of all Americans don’t exercise their right as an American and VOTE. On the other side of this, I really don’t want them to vote because they don’t know what or who they’re voting for. 3/4 of the people who vote are unsure of the issues they’re voting about. They don’t know the candidates, they don’t know the issues. They simply vote the party line — without question.

What’s the answer? A return to God. I know what some of you are saying, “keep religion and politics separate.”  Why should we? Our founding fathers didn’t.

Here’s what John Adams said, “[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.:

(Source: John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, editor (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 401, to Zabdiel Adams on June 21, 1776.)

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But, in order for us to turn back to God, our churches need a renewal. In order for revival in churches, we need to repent of our sinful ways and focus our eyes on Christ alone. It’s only then can we expect our country to improve.

ObamaCare is a HUGE success!

Here’s an article I happened across. I’m posting it to get your response. Any cursing or name calling won’t be tolerated and will get you banned from this blog. This blog is meant for open fair and CIVIL conversation. Since it’s my blog, I get to decide what that is.

Why Obamacare is a Fantastic Success

By Wayne Allyn Root

There are 2 major political parties in America. I’m a member of the naïve, stupid, and cowardly one. I’m a Republican. How stupid is the GOP? They still don’t get it. I told them 5 years ago, 2 books ago, a national bestseller ago (“The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide”), and in hundreds of articles and commentaries, that Obamacare was never meant to help America, or heal the sick, or lower healthcare costs, or lower the debt, or expand the economy.

The GOP needs to stop calling Obamacare a “trainwreck.” That means it’s a mistake, or accident. That means it’s a gigantic flop, or failure. It’s NOT. This is a brilliant, cynical, and purposeful attempt to damage the U.S. economy, kill jobs, and bring down capitalism. It’s not a failure, it’s Obama’s grand success. It’s not a “trainwreck,” Obamacare is a suicide attack. He wants to hurt us, to bring us to our knees, to capitulate- so we agree under duress to accept big government.

Obama’s hero and mentor was Saul Alinsky- a radical Marxist intent on destroying capitalism. Alinksky’s stated advice was to call the other guy “a terrorist” to hide your own intensions. To scream that the other guy is “ruining America,” while you are the one actually plotting the destruction of America. To claim again and again…in every sentence of every speech…that you are “saving the middle class,” while you are busy wiping out the middle class.

The GOP is so stupid they can’t see it. There are no mistakes here. This is a planned purposeful attack. The tell-tale sign isn’t the disastrous start to Obamacare. Or the devastating effect the new taxes are having on the economy. Or the death of full-time jobs. Or the overwhelming debt. Or the dramatic increases in health insurance rates. Or the 70% of doctors now thinking of retiring- bringing on a healthcare crisis of unimaginable proportions. Forget all that.

The real sign that this is a purposeful attack upon capitalism is how many Obama administration members and Democratic Congressmen are openly calling Tea Party Republicans and anyone who wants to stop Obamacare “terrorists.” There’s the clue. Even the clueless GOP should be able to see that. They are calling the reasonable people…the patriots…the people who believe in the Constitution…the people who believe exactly what the Founding Fathers believed…the people who want to take power away from corrupt politicians who have put America $17 trillion in debt…terrorists?

That’s because they are Saul Alinsky-ing the GOP. The people trying to purposely hurt America, capitalism and the middle class…are calling the patriots by a terrible name to fool, confuse and distract the public.

Obamacare is a raving, rollicking, fantastic success. Stop calling it a failure. Here is what it was created to do. It is succeeding on all counts.

#1) Obamacare was intended to bring about the Marxist dream- redistribution of wealth. Rich people, small business owners, and the middle class are being robbed, so that the money can be redistributed to poor people (who vote Democrat). Think about it. If you’re rich or middle class, you now have to pay for your own healthcare costs (at much higher rates) AND 40 million other people’s costs too (through massive tax increases). So you’re stuck paying for both bills. You are left broke. Brilliant.

#2) Obamacare was intended to wipe out the middle class and make them dependent on government. Think about it. Even Obama’s IRS predicts that health insurance for a typical American family by 2016 will be $20,000 per year. But how would middle class Americans pay that bill and have anything left for food or housing or living? People that make $40K, or $50K, or $60K can’t possibly hope to spend $20K on health insurance without becoming homeless. Bingo. That’s how you make middle class people dependent on government. That’s how you make everyone addicted to government checks. Brilliant.

#3) As a bonus, Obamacare is intended to kill every decent paying job in the economy, creating only crummy, crappy part-time jobs. Why? Just to make sure the middle class is trapped, with no way out. Just to make sure no one has the $20,000 per year to pay for health insurance, thereby guaranteeing they become wards of the state. Brilliant.

#4) Obamacare is intended to bankrupt small business, and therefore starve donations to the GOP. Think about it. Do you know a small business owner? I know hundreds of them. Their rates are being doubled, tripled and quadrupled by Obamacare. Guess who writes 75% of the checks to Republican candidates and conservative causes? Small business. Even if a small business owner manages to survive, he or she certainly can’t write a big check to the GOP anymore. Money is the “mother’s milk” of politics. Without donations, a political party ceases to exist. Bingo. That’s the point of Obamacare. Obama is bankrupting his political opposition and drying up donations to the GOP. Brilliant.

#5) Obamacare is intended to make the IRS all-powerful. It adds thousands of new IRS agents. It puts the IRS in charge of overseeing 15% of the U.S. economy. The IRS has the right because of Obamacare to snoop into every aspect of your life, to go into your bank accounts, to fine you, to frighten you, to intimidate you. And Obama and his socialist cabal have access to your deepest medical secrets. By law your doctor has to ask your sexual history. That information is now in the hands of Obama and the IRS to blackmail GOP candidates into either not running, or supporting bigger government, or leaking the info and ruining your campaign. Or have you forgotten the IRS harassed, intimidated and persecuted critics of Obama and conservative groups? Now Obama hands the IRS even more power. Big Brother rules our lives. Brilliant.

#6) Obamacare is intended to unionize 15 million healthcare workers. That produces $15 billion in new union dues. That money goes to fund Democratic candidates and socialist causes- thereby guaranteeing Obama’s friends never lose another election, and Obama’s policies keep ruining capitalism and bankrupting business owners long after he’s out of office.

Message to the GOP: This isn’t a game. This isn’t tiddly-winks. This is a serious, purposeful attempt to highjack America and destroy capitalism. This isn’t a trainwreck. It’s purposeful suicide. It’s not failing, it’s working exactly according to plan. Obama knows what he’s doing. Stop apologizing and start fighting.

Oh and one more thing…Conservatives aren’t “terrorists.” We are patriots and saviors. We represent the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. We are the heroes and good guys. Unless you get all this through your thick skulls, America is lost…forever.

Project Hope gives hope for orphans

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I can’t help but think about that holiday season. It’s really my favorite time of the year. I love the family gathering, the festive mood, the traditions, the music, the food — everything. Believe it or not, I even enough the shopping, but I would say that it’s not my favorite thing about Christmas — there, I said the politically incorrect WORD.  Christmas. There I said it again.

I didn’t mean for this blog to be political, instead I’m writing this blog to tell you about something exciting our family is doing this year that will actually give to orphans in the former Soviet Union.

Anastasia before she was adopted and now.

Anastasia before she was adopted and now.

As some of you know, my daughter is from Irkutsk, Russia. We adopted her in 2002 from Baby Home #1 in December of that year. In fact, the adoption was official just one day before the New Year. Why is this an important fact? Well, because my daughter wants to give something to her former orphanage at Christmas time, and you can help her.

The program is called Project Hope. When you donate $25 at http://www.YouCaring.com/projecthope you can provide more than a Christmas gift to a child without a family at Christmas time. You’re providing the greatest gift of all — the Christ of Christ.

How does it work?

Because Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union don’t allow Christmas gifts to be SENT in to the country, Russian Ministries started a program called, Project Hope, the Great Gift Exchange. The money is collected in the United States and sent to partnering evangelical churches in country. These churches then purchase toys, candy, personal care items and God’s Word. These items are placed in a festive boxes and are then hand delivered by Christians.

In partnership with Baptist Bible Church of Irkutsk, my daughter wants to send Project Hope Christmas boxes to all 150 children in her former orphanage. While the goal of $3,750 is a formidable goal, the church has a goal of distributing 1,000 gifts 12 orphanages in Irkutsk.

Nikolas Yonker before and now.

Nikolas Yonker before and now.

Anastasia isn’t working alone, however. She’s working with three other families who have adopted children from the same city, who now living in the United States. Niikolas Yonker, Annika Tuls, and Matt and Katie Olsen are joining together to help the Baptist Bible Church accomplish their goal.

From now through December 18, 2013 these young people are collecting money to help provide these gifts. They want to make sure these children have more than a Christmas this year, they want them to hear about Jesus. Through Project Hope and your contribution, you’ll ensure they have both.

Anika Tuls before and now photo.

Anika Tuls before and now photo.

Today, there are more than 700,000 children in the orphanage system in Russia alone. Since Russia has banned all adoptions to the United States, and more countries could be banned in months today come, these children have little hope of being adopted. That’s why this program is so important. It gives a child hope during one of the most hopeful times of the year — a time when Jesus brought hope to the world when he was born in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago.

Katie and Matt Olsen before and now.

Katie and Matt Olsen before and now.


Please give generously. $100 provides four Project Hope Christmas gifts. Your donation could make an eternal difference in the life of one child, or many children. It will also empower the Baptist Bible Church to have incredible impact in their community.

You can give safely and securely on-line at https://www.YouCaring.com/projecthope. If you have questions, please email me your personal information at gregsyoder@gmail.com and I’ll get back with you asap.

Greg to Haiti for 1 year anniversary

Greg in Haiti (2010)

Greg calling back stories to the U.S. from Haiti.

I’m sure it will be an interesting trip. I’m heading back to Haiti for the one year anniversary of the earthquake that rocked Haiti.

I remember where I was. I was sitting at my dinner table, eating dinner, when I first got word of the earthquake. I actually dismissed it as just another ‘earthquake’. However, I quickly learned differently.

In the days that followed we heard about the loss of life, the massive damage and the number of organizations who were gearing up to help.

A few weeks after the quake, I traveled to Haiti with Compassion International to encourage people to give to the ministry. It was called, Help Haiti with Compassion.

This year, I’m heading back to see what progress (if any) has been made and to encourage people to ‘Remember Haiti with Compassion’ because the needs are so great.

I’ll be traveling with the President of Compassion International Wess Stafford Sunday, January 9-Thursday, January 13.

Check back here often during those days for photos, stories and pictures of everything I’ll see and hear on the trip.

Thanks for your support and prayers.

MNN/Way-FM Orphan Outreach in Russia – August 20, 2010

A little girl gets ready to do her craft

A little girl gets ready to do her craft

The final day of ministry in Russia and everyone’s wishing we could stay longer. August 20 was a great day for everyone. We basically did the same thing we did Thursday. We went to the special needs children (Orphanage 40) camp. This day, I started out with the craft group with the less challenged group. I wasn’t feeling all that great and I thought this would be a good start to the final day.

Today, they were decorating picture frames. The story was, “While man looks at the outside, God looks at the heart.’ So we wanted them to make picture frames and then we were going to take pictures of the kids. We were going to print them out and let them frame them in their frames. It would have worked great, but the printer never worked.

Nicole Latimer with Oxanna

Nicole Latimer with Oxanna

From there, I went over to the ‘difficult’ area. One of the girls in particular, Anna, was a biter. Thursday, she bit me on the hand, arm, twisted my neck, bit someone on the nose, threw someone’s glasses and was just a little terror. For whatever reason, she was so pleasant. I sat with her. Bounced her. I gave her a ‘trot-trot’ ride. Swung her around and she only ‘tried’ to bite me once. Others of the team were able to spend some quality time with her.

Many of the guys just played ‘boy games’ with the boy. We rough housed, ran, threw them in the air, climbed the monkey bars with them, tickled them — just had ‘guy time’ with them. They don’t get much male attention,

Chad with boys

Chad Klumpstra with boys at Orphanage 40 camp.

so this was great.

After our morning, we again went to the beach along the Gulf of Finland. It was very close — right across the street from Orphanage 40’s Camp. We simply crossed the street because we wanted to get a team photo.

MNN/Way-FM Orphan Outreach Team

MNN/Way-FM Orphan Outreach Team

After lunch back at the hotel, we traveled again to Orphanage 14’s camp. Today, however, the director was there and he handled things quite differently. After lunch, they were required to come to attention outside the dinner hall by dorms. Each dorm had a dorm leader who was responsible for their campers being there. When he called them to attention — not a sound was heard.

Greg plays basketball with girl

Greg teaches girl how to shoot basketball

Following that, we got back to work. I stayed in the recreation area this time to try to help keep the kids interested. It didn’t work. However, we did keep a few kids around to play a few games. When it was the girl’s turn, most left — but a few came over to see what was going on. I was actually able to have a great conversation with a few of them and was even able to coach a couple of them on how to shoot a basketball.

One of the girl who came over was a gal who didn’t want ANYTHING to do with us. She looked like she was only interested in being an athlete and didn’t have time for anything we had to offer, until someone told her I was coaching girls how to properly shoot a basketball. She has lots of natural ability, but couldn’t shoot well. By the time I was done, she was shooting a jump shot and making most.

Orphan Outreach – Day 3 August 18, 2010

kids listening

Kids listening to story times in the morning.

Gray skies greeted us Wednesday, August 18, 2010 the final day with kids from orphanage 2 and 60. We started off in the morning with the little kids again. We shared the verse, Isaiah 49:16, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands: your walls are continually before me.” Many of these young people seemed to respond to this verse. Many understanding it and talking about it. The craft today was making picture frames. Then we took each child’s picture. We were going to print them out at lunch time, but the printer malfunctioned. So, we’re going to print them in the city and Olga and her team will take them back after we’re gone.

Unfortunately, I spent most of my time with the memory verse group because of a couple of issues, so I didn’t get to see much of the other groups. I know they told a story, and there was game time, but I have no idea how things went.

Little boy listening to directions

Little boy listening to directions.

Just before we left for the morning, we presented Orphanage 2 with donations. We had underwear, socks, clothes, lice shampoo and lots more. I was able to thank the ladies for their dedication to the kids, telling them it was a thankless job. I also quoted James 1:27, “Pure religion is caring for the orphans and the widows….” and I encouraged them to trust God for guidance and wisdom.

The after noon was full of excitement. We started off breaking the teens and older elementary kids into four groups. We actually had more kids than we had the previous day. One little boy was NOT getting along with anyone. It finally culminated when he bit the neck of another boy and wouldn’t let go. He bit so hard it was back and blue. When asked why he did it, he could only tell us that the other boy had taken a blue dolphin bracelet. Not sure that was true. I actually pulled the kid off the pile and put him in a wrestling hold so he

watermelon party

18 watermelons helped us celebrate our last day.

couldn’t bite me and tried to take him back to the dorm. An older teen ran over and encouraged me to put him down. Mistake. She grabbed her hand and bit her hard, leaving a back and blue set of teeth marks.

After he was taken away, we had a great day. Paul told his testimony along with a story out of the Bible. Then

Sasha and Nastya

Nastya and Sasha eating watermelon.

Jenn shared her testimony, which also was able to connect with the other teens who were listening.

The day ended with a watermelon party. We’d purchased 18 watermelons. It was gone in 10 minutes or less. It was great fun. It was sad leaving. Be praying for Elya, Alena, Nastya and Zyna. Elya is 14 and we believe she’s close to seeing God do a work in her heart. These others who were special to me. They need Christ’s love, too.