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March 16, 2007

Dear Friends,

I want to share with you a very unpleasant story of which I only found out about yesterday.  I visited a local  orphanage that I have been going to for almost 7 years now.  I had met a young girl there named Oksana that I had become very attached to. 

About 2 years ago after I had returned from New York to visit my family, I returned to Kaluga and went to visit this orphanage.  I asked where Oksana was and they had told me that she had been adopted.  I was sad and disappointed because it meant that I probably would not see her again, but I also realized that I was being a little selfish and should be happy for her because she was now living with a family. 

Since that time I would go there and ask about her and hopefully receive some information about how she was doing.  When I asked about her yesterday one of the teachers said that something tragic had happened to her and they were not ready to talk about it.  I was shocked because I knew it was something bad. 

Before I left I asked the director about it and she told me that Oksana was adopted into a bad family.  Apparently there had been sexual abuse as well as other forms of abuse within this family.  At the age of only 13, Oksana committed suicide by hanging herself.   It was also somehow determined that she had lost her virginity about 2 years before at the age of 11.  Another adopted sister living in this family had became pregnant by the step father.

I know that this is a terrible story to share with you but it is reality. This is only one tragic story of what can happen to orphan children around the world.  Unfortunately, this one hits too close to home.  Now, more than ever, there such a need to reach out to these kids. Its so critical that we form strong relationships and share the Gospel of Christ with them! 

In about 1 to 2 months we hope to be licensed in Russia to operate as a rehabilitation center and a post orphan transition home.  I also talked with the director from this orphanage about the possibility of helping to rent apartments in Kaluga for orphan kids that have no where to live upon graduation from the orphanage. If this is something that you may be interested in helping with, please contact me.

Thank you all again so much for your financial support and your prayers.

God Bless you!  



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