‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Joy Joy Joy!

I advocated for some of the girls, and I'm happy to say ALL THREE GIRLS I posted about yesterday have sponsors! Nastya already wrote to me this morning expressing her disbelief and asking me to tell everyone how grateful they are:

'Dear Keri, please tell me how I may express my gratitude to these women for helping me and my friends. I do not know how! It is so generous!'

 Nastya promised to keep tabs on everyone and make sure they are writing back to their sponsors and being good stewards of the money. She is such a gem. She ended her message by thanking me for having confidence in her :)

So now I have three more girls I'd like to tell you about. First up is Sveta. Sveta is 16 and just aged out of the orphanage in June. Nastya tells me she is in school, but I do not know more details about what Sveta is studying or how she is getting by. I do know Sveta is a kind, quiet, thoughtful girl. I first met her in May 2009 when she was 12. She spent most of her time reading, and was overjoyed to receive a barbie doll to play with that summer! The caretaker I trust most says that Sveta is a girl who is "going to make something of herself." She is very level-headed and manages to still be kind and open-hearted while having lived in the hopeless and chaotic environment of the orphanage. This photo is from June of this year:

Next is Tanya. She is 17, and aged out in June. She was a top student and is much-loved by the others girls. She is one of the girls everyone goes to for support and guidance. She is a helper by nature and was always looking out for the younger girls in her group. She is also incredibly friendly and upbeat - something you don't often find in the orphanage population. Here is Tanya in June 2013:

Finally, there is Natasha. Natasha is dear to my heart because she has gone out of her way to watch over my Daniel ( the little boy I was adopting before the adoption ban was put into effect.) She is very serious, hard-working, very private but always ready to help. I had a hard time convincing  her to accept help from a sponsor. I talked with her online for an hour last night, and she was very resistant, because she said 'there are others so much worse off than I. I cannot accept help when there is a bigger need with ______ and ______.' 

I tried to explain why it was important we send money to those we know can 'handle' the support and that she was welcome to help her friends, too. But sending money to some of the more destitute girls actually backfires, I've found. They do not know how to handle the money and end up spending it wastefully  or gorging on too much food all at once. Natasha is very practical and will be careful with every penny. Here she is:

If you would like to sponsor any of these wonderful girls, please let me know. I'm happy to tell you more about them, too! I just ask that those willing to sponsor make a 12 month commitment, so the girls can have some stability for an extended amount of time.

Thank you!

Edit: As of 9pm tonight, ALL these girls are sponsored! I'll be posting about the final 3-4 in the coming week!


  1. Oh, that makes me so happy! I have a heart for Ksusha, and sent her a care package before, so when I saw she was one of the girls you were wanting to sponsor, my heart leapt--and then fell, because I cannot make that financial commitment. So whomever is sponsoring Ksusha--THANK YOU from me. I am going to put her name (or if I can figure out how to print out a photo, her face) on my fridge so that when I am doing dishes I will remember to pray for her, and for these other girls. I cannot fathom how a young girl could make it all on her own with so many odds against her--and so many preying upon her. So I gladly volunteer to be Ksusha's prayer sponsor! : )

    1. That is wonderful. I am sponsoring Ksusha, I felt something special about her (all the kids, really). I'm hoping she is able to build the future she wants! Please feel free to email Keri, if you want to contact me, she has my email address. It makes me feel good that others care about these kids, too.
      Julie in Portland

    2. I'll do that, Julie! I'm down on Monterey Bay, so we are on the same coast--just completely opposite from Keri. And here we are caring about and desiring to bless a young woman all the way in Russia--God's world is so small! : )

  2. Heart4Russia1:14 PM

    So glad to hear this. I've been following your posts about some of these girls for years now. I know firsthand how horrible it is for them over there. People here really do not understand the level of poverty. Its a shame that more people in our country dont understand how wealthy they are. If everyone just gave up some of their luxuries (perceived necessities) so many children could be lifted out of poverty. I'm still supporting the girl you matched me with a few years ago, as you know. I know my sponsorship has kept her fed and clothed, and I feel honored to do it.

  3. I feel like crying with joy, myself. I thought about those girls all night. How I wish I were rich!!! This is just such a beautiful thing you are doing.

  4. Really excited to be a part of this. Thank you Keri!

  5. Anonymous4:20 PM

    I often work with the Justice Department on human trafficking issues. So many trafficking victims come out of this part of Russia. ( Kemerovo Region, correct?) They end up all over the world, including right here in the US. I applaud your endeavor. It might be helpful to create a 501c3 to attract more financial support. It's fairly easy to apply. Keep up the good work.

  6. Hi, I'm interested in sponsoring one of these precious girls. Would you be able to send me information on how to go about it? Thanks!


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