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New Hope for Orphans

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Vol. 14, No. 30, January 28, 2002

New Hope for Orphans

Shane, Hyodo
John Shane (L) and Mike Hyodo converse after Friday’s meeting.

Mike Hyodo, World Community Service Committee Chairperson, introduced Friday’s speaker, John Shane, Director New Hope Outreach Ministries, headquartered in Elma, Washington. Mike prefaced John’s remarks by saying his committee and the BBRC are sponsoring an outreach project to Perm, Russia, in May. “Perm is a city of one million people located a thousand miles from Moscow (Russia). Our team will be building a dental clinic and partnering with New Hope Outreach to help the orphanage there. A container will be loaded this week with our dental equipment, food, clothing and toys.” Mike presented a check in the amount of $6,000 to Mr. Shane for his New Hope Outreach. Others on the project team in May include Steve Lingenbrink, Tanya Davis, Nina No, Andrew Mirinof, Steve Brown, and Pastor Greg Van Sapp.

John opened his remarks by thanking the Club for the “tremendous gift you’ve given our ministry. This is not a very happy time for us because of the need everywhere we look. If you were to go on one of our outreach missions, I can promise you will get head lice. Every orphanage has lice. And, you will bring it home.”

Since 1988, John has been going to Russia. “We started an orphanage, the second such private facility in Russia. The government requirements are stringent … we have to have a doctor on the staff full time. If it weren’t for the volunteers, dedicated, working 24 hours a day, all week long, we would not have the successes we’ve had.”

“There have been absolute miracles with the kids we work with. I was not prepared when I visited my first orphanage in Russia. They have two kinds of orphanages: normal and defective. Orphanage #126 is for stupid kids. They had never seen an American. I didn’t know what to do … they wanted me to share about my country and after I did, I shared about God. Now, come and look at the orphanage – kids range in age from 7 to 15 – 117 kids. They have no homes, no place to go … and when they reach 17, out the door they go. There are 10,000 orphans in Perm and, as you can imagine, street kids are a problem. Poverty in Russia and in Perm is bad.”

The average wage is $30 per month; 66% of the population dies of alcohol-related diseases. On that first trip, Rev. Shane looked around for toys. All he could find were rat and mouse droppings, fleas, and lice. He opened closets and saw no clothes. The kids had nothing on their feet … no shoes. He was looking for just one simple toy. I finally saw a little fellow with part of a broken roller skate. “We have it all in America and are so blessed.”

“When I returned to the orphanage, they deluged me with, ‘Please tell us another story about God.’ God spoke to me about adopting this 13-year-old girl. When I called back to Elma to tell my wife, she said, ‘We have 3 of our own … and 58 other foster kids.’ Her heart softened and Elya became a member of the Shane family.

The Minister of Education of Russia told John that when he comes back to Russia, “I will help you.” That was 1994. Perm is on edge of Siberia. It was early November and the temperature was 20 degrees below zero. “I went back to the orphanage to see kids shoveling snow. It was 30 degrees inside the building which had no sanitation facilities. I’m happy to report there have been some improvements – every one of the orphanages has shown some improvement. I had come back to continue the adoption process for Elya. I looked up the Education Minister, and he said, ‘I thought you’d never come back.’”

“On that trip I visited a baby orphanage. It was awful. I looked at the director, who said, ‘Don’t judge me. You don’t understand … there is no money to nourish these babies. Babies are covered with fungus. These babies will die before you can do anything about it.’ He was right.”

“I came back home and collected anti-fungal cremes. Now, none of our orphanages have babies dying. We are working with over 60 orphanages, which accounts for 6,000 kids. We have refugee kids in Sri Lanka and a program in the Ukraine. I am no longer pastoring. I’m now working to hug kids … love overcomes all this pain. That’s all these kids want. Our adopted daughter is probably the most famous orphan in Russia.”

John Shane planted the seed for acquiring toys at garage sales. “It doesn’t take much if we just love them.” He closed by showing a video of the kids he ministers to.

President Goldfarb awarded the certificate for the Rotary First Harvest donation of 600 pounds of food in John Shane’s name. Thanks to Mike Hyodo for his introduction.

Scott Hildebrand, on behalf of the World Community Service Committee, urged members to bring new clothes and non-perishable food this week to the February 1 meeting. The items will be placed in the container that is headed for Perm, a journey that takes about two months.